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.

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Not Always Movements: Suite of Tools

In recent years, we’ve noticed increasing use of the term ‘movement’ to describe a wide variety of social change efforts—often ones that don’t actually have the characteristics or aims of a movement. We have developed a suite of materials to help funders, evaluators, and other social change agents be crisper and more accurate in how they talk about and understand different approaches to advancing large-scale social change, and to avoid the harms that can arise...

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Exploring Field Building Concepts and Measurement

Inspired by similar types of efforts (for example, the Funder Evaluator Affinity Network ), ORS hosted a two-session virtual think tank in June 2021. We brought together 13 people from different roles, institutions, and disciplines to consider with us: how can we help social sector actors clearly articulate concepts and stimulate stronger/better measurement for field-focused approaches? While we knew work had been done to describe field-focused work and how it could be usefully measured,...

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Measuring Narrative Change: Webinar Recording & Resources

On September 15th, 2021, ORS Impact hosted a webinar to discuss some of the opportunities and challenges that animate narrative change measurement. With Neha Singh Gohil, Communications Officer at the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, we explored different facets of narratives by identifying relevant and meaningful outcomes, responding to dynamic contexts and learning as you go, and what this might mean for funders and others engaged in this type of work. This webinar highlights the findings...

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A long overdue update on our journey to advance equity

Four years ago, we set an intention around equity. We knew doing nothing was not an option and good intentions were not good enough. It had been a long time since we had posted about this work—too long—and we’ve been hard at work to advance racial equity within our company and through our work since that time. More recent events this year again led us to make a public statement and reaffirm our commitment to continue this work. We decided it was time for an update on what we’re actually doing, so here’s an update on our work over the past four years to live our commitment.

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Thinking Outside the Box: More Ideas for How to Make Evaluations More Useful for Foundation Strategy and Practice

Over the past year we’ve been working as part of an action team with the Funder & Evaluator Affinity Network (FEAN), thinking about how to strengthen the use of evaluation findings in philanthropic strategy. In a forthcoming brief, “Good Intentions Aren’t Enough: Making Evaluations More Useful for Foundation Strategy and Practice,” we suggest eight areas where focused action by external evaluators and foundation evaluation staff can help evaluation projects garner...

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New Report: Not Always Movements

In the brief, we compare and contrast the underlying assumptions, theories of change, and outcomes of three distinct social change approaches that are often conflated with movements: field building, network development, and promoting the uptake of practices by large numbers of organizations.

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