Section 4:  Measuring Progress and Evaluating Impact

If a community systems development, or collaboration, effort is to be truly effective, members must build in a plan to check progress along the way and adjust work as needed. Developing a plan for continuous evaluation and improvement of collaboration efforts is important for three reasons. 

First, it enables the collaborative to see if it is meeting the agreed-upon goals, benchmarks, and outcomes. Second, it provides a feedback loop from the community to ensure that community needs and goals are being met. Finally, it provides the collaborative with an opportunity to respond to changes within the environment that necessitate a change in shared activities or in the overall vision. Activities to support measuring progress and evaluating impact help collaborations in developing concrete next steps after a strategic plan has been implemented, including ensuring a feedback loop from the outcomes of the shared efforts and maintaining a shared understanding of the impact of systems change. 

The work of measuring progress and evaluating impact is broken down through the following subsections; click on a subsection to learn more about the activities included and find available tools.