New Developments in Parent Leadership Evaluation

Indicator Development

In addition to the Indicator Framework, we are developing tools and supports that will help make rigorous evaluation more feasible and relevant for PLIs. 

Developing the initial indicators: We started from the Theory of Change and drew on existing research and evaluation on parent leadership.

Identifying measures and methods: Our goal is a flexible framework that provides starting points and tools but does not prescribe measures. It supports participatory approaches in which stakeholders collaborate to refine a theory of change and select appropriate methods and measures.

Gathering feedback and revising: We have revised the framework many times as parent leaders, PLI staff, funders, researchers, and evaluators have offered their ideas.

Online Survey Tools

By spring 2018, we expect to have a suite of survey tools ready for PLIs to use with participants. These survey tools are aligned with the indicator framework. Our partner in this task is Algorhythm, an “impact science” company that enables non-profit agencies to collect rigorous evaluation data and to make meaning of it in real time. Non-profits can see the data they collect immediately, rather than having to wait until the data are no longer useful for making improvements. Algorhythm’s technical expertise and deep understanding of participatory evaluation will support our team to develop quantitative measures that are valid, reliable, and relevant to the lives of parent leaders. Once these tools have been finalized and piloted, all PLIs beyond those in the Network will be invited to use the Algorhythm platform (expected summer-fall 2018).

Pilot Parent Leadership Evaluation

Once we have finished the indicator framework, we want to ensure that PLIs have the capacity to use the framework to evaluate their work and the opportunity to share and seek ideas from other PLIs. Thus, we are forming our first (hopefully, of many!) cohort of a Parent Leadership Evaluation Network, which will consist of 5-7 PLIs. Network members will have access at no cost to training and technical assistance in evaluation led by Project Impact, an organization that helps non-profits to define and evaluate impact and improve programs and strategies based on evaluation data. This training will support PLIs to identify the outcomes they wish to measure and give them the tools they need in qualitative and quantitative evaluation. Our team will learn from the Network about how to build ongoing supports for additional PLIs that wish to evaluate their work.