This resource is the template that the Economic Justice Program MEL team developed for the portfolio learning agendas of EJP's inaugural strategy.
This resource is part of the MEL toolkit for grantmakers and grantees resource collection.
Authors and their affiliation
Robin Varghese, Andrea Azevedo, Megan Colnar, and Jay Locke (Economic Justice Program MEL Team, Open Society Foundations)
Key features of the template for developing a portfolio learning strategy
Learning was a key focus of the Economic Justice Program’s inaugural strategy (2021–24). During the strategy development process, the program’s MEL team worked closely with colleagues to develop a learning agenda for each grant-making or investment portfolio. Each learning strategy was intended to serve as the basis for a research plan that EJP portfolio teams would execute over the following 2–4 years. This resource is the template that the EJP MEL team developed for the portfolio learning agendas. It includes guidelines for identifying and developing key components of a learning agenda, such as learning questions, assumptions, research goals, and timelines.
How have you used or intend on using this template?
Portfolio teams within the Economic Justice Program used this template to think through the most important research and learning questions that they sought to answer. The template provides both an overview of the process, including what support would be provided by the MEL team, and a standardized form to ensure a full and comprehensive learning agenda.
Why would you recommend it to other people?
This resource can be used and/or adapted as a template for any organization seeking to develop its learning strategy. Providing guidance and specific questions for program teams, this is a good introduction for staff who have not previously developed a learning and research agendas but wish to do so.
Varghese, R., Azevedo, A., Colnar, M. & Locke, J. (2020). Template for developing a portfolio learning strategy. Retrieved from https://www.betterevaluation.org/tools-resources/template-for-developing-portfolio-learning-strategy
These resources are part of the Emphasizing evaluative thinking for complex systems change series of the MEL toolkit for grantmakers and grantees resource collection.