How can we use evaluation to support decision-making and reflection in this time of community crisis?

A guide containing examples of supportive evaluation activities for organisations and leaders managing COVID-19 response efforts.

This resource and the following information was contributed by Lauren Beriont.

Authors and their affiliation

Emergence Collective: Leah Josephson, Lauren Beriont, Mary Mattson, Ramona Perry, Jenna Pryor

Key features

When COVID-19 first hit, we were at a loss for what evaluators can do to best support their partners in this crisis or how evaluative thinking can be useful to our partners. We pulled together this brief resource after a lot of conversations with evaluation colleagues and our foundation and nonprofit partners throughout March and April 2020. We offer up a set of principles for evaluation in crisis that we're using - Participant focused, Scalable, Think outside the box, "Good enough", and Trauma informed. We then lay out key evaluation questions and activities that might be useful for process evaluation, organisational decision-making, and impact evaluation. We hope this resource guides evaluators as they continue to examine the relevance of evaluation, center usefulness to partners in crisis, and think of specific and practical ways to use evaluation now.

How have you used or intend on using this resource?

We've used this resource as a jumping point for discussion with our current partners so they have specific ideas on how we might be able to pivot our work to best support them during crisis. We've also used this with our philanthropic partners to examine and imagine creative ways that foundations can support grantees during this time. If folks are at a loss for what they can do, we hope this can be a starting point to generate more ideas.

Why would you recommend it to other people?

It offers practical activities that evaluators can use, it provides key evaluation questions folks can be asking their teams and their community at this time, and it is all centred around more equitable approaches to equity.


Emergence Collective: Josephson, L., Beriont, L., Mattson, M., Perry, R., Pryor, J. (April 2020). How can we use evaluation to support decision-making and reflection in this time of community crisis? Retrieved from