ORS Impact News

The ORS Impact team has earned a global reputation for leadership, insight and innovation. We work collaboratively with our clients, bringing our distinctive expertise in planning, measurement and evaluation to their most vexing challenges.

Join Us September 24-26 in Atlanta for MLE Lab 2019!

ORS Impact was founded more than 30 years ago out of a deep belief that meaningful, thoughtful, and regular use of data can foster continuous improvement and support real progress against important social goals.

We don’t just believe that – we’ve seen it.

Working with hundreds of organizations over the years, including leading foundations, nonprofits, and government agencies, we’ve seen how a well-developed measurement, learning, and evaluation (MLE) practice helps organizations and teams sharpen their thinking, increase their alignment, and stay focused on what’s most important to know.

We’ve helped funders develop communities of practice to learn, in partnership with grantees, about the outcomes of key initiatives. We’ve supported nonprofits as they gained insights into what they should be spending their time and resources tracking and evaluating – and what they can let go. We’ve seen organizations re-direct resources to ensure their theory of change is being more fully realized. And we’ve helped teams figure out when to evaluate, and when basic monitoring is enough.

We’ve also watched organizations struggle with MLE. We know that most organizations can’t afford to engage research and evaluation professionals on every project, and that measurement, learning, and evaluation are often neglected in the press of more urgent, day-to-day priorities. We also understand that aligning teams and entire organizations around MLE can be a challenge and takes time.

That’s why we created MLE Lab five years ago.

Since our founding, we’ve been committed to sharing our frameworks, techniques, and approaches with social innovators to enhance their impact. In this spirit, we’ve documented our lessons — learned over many years in partnership with many clients — to share what we’ve identified as key elements, useful techniques, and valuable frameworks for MLE practice. MLE Lab builds on our organizational history of capacity building, as well as our consultations with nonprofit, philanthropic, and public sector clients.

We’ve also learned over time that meaningful ongoing measurement is not merely a technical exercise. All the energy put into developing a plan or system is wasted unless MLE gets embedded into the regular work of teams and organizations. Attention to change management concepts should be woven into the work alongside decisions about indicators, targets, and data collection methods.

MLE Lab is a crash course focused on helping your team, and your entire organization, improve its MLE practice. Beginning with an in-person, two-and-a-half-day retreat, MLE Lab will help your team:

  • Develop a shared understanding of MLE terms and concepts
  • Learn how to develop an MLE plan
  • Navigate the technical nuts and bolts of MLE practice
  • Understand the connection between MLE and strategy
  • Implement your plans when you return to your organization

You’ll leave the opening retreat with a binder of resources – including two sample MLE plans – to help your team and your organization engage in this work, and you’ll be supported by 30-40 hours of ongoing coaching from ORS Impact consultants.

We’ve heard from past participants that MLE Lab offers a powerful combination of in-person and peer learning, team-building, training in facilitation techniques, expert coaching, and valuable resource materials.

Our goal for MLE Lab is to offer our tools, frameworks, and approaches to more organizations than we can serve through our consulting practice, at an affordable price point, and to prepare participants to be change agents and MLE champions in their organizations and the field.

At ORS Impact, we believe in the power of data to drive and inform social innovation. We look forward to sharing our experience and learning alongside participants in this year’s MLE Lab, and we hope your team will consider joining us September 24-26, 2019 in Atlanta.

Click here to learn more, or visit an earlier blog post describing how MLE Lab helped ProInspire's Equity in the Center.

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