As a foundation committed to improving the health of Coloradans, it's important that we understand and share how we're making a difference. Learning and evaluation is a way to inform and improve our work and help others understand our approaches.
Why is the Colorado Health Foundation committed to learning and evaluation?
In short: Because it’s absolutely critical to improving the health of Coloradans.
By evaluating our work, we:
- Improve planning. Lessons and evidence from our past and current work are used to inform our decisions about what will be the most effective path forward.
- Implement effectively. Continuous learning and improvement throughout the lifecycle of our work allows us to assess what is happening, learn from it, and make changes that will help us meet the needs of communities and have the greatest impact.
- Understand impact. We assess the extent to which our work is helping us make progress toward improved health for in Colorado.
A Model for Excellence
In order to ensure our investments are effectively working toward our mission, our evaluation model incorporates four major components:
- Providing evidence that helps us answer operational and strategic questions
- Synthesizing the evidence to learn about how we can improve
- Using what we’ve learned to inform our decisions and make course corrections as needed
- Assessing the impact of our work on contributing to the improved health of Coloradans
Evaluation can take many different forms and employ many different methods and measurement strategies. Some questions are best addressed through simple monitoring data, while other questions require more in-depth evaluation. There are also many different types of questions that we may want to ask.
Because of this, every evaluation project looks different, depending on the questions we are trying to answer.
As we learn from our work, we believe that we should be sharing learnings with our grantees, our partners and other philanthropies. We are always looking for effective ways to communicate what we are learning in a way that will be useful for all our partners.