Foundation Reports

Be H.I.P.P.: Have Influence on Public Policy (YMCA Canada)
This Public Policy Toolkit was generously funded by Human Resources Development of Canada (HRDC) and was designed by YMCA Canada to help YMCA leaders and voluntary sector leaders to increase their understanding of the structure, processes, priorities and key players of local, provincial and federal governments in addition to providing tools for developing and influencing public policy strategy.

Bob Behn’s Public Management Report
As a member of the team of Kennedy School faculty who lead executive-education programs for the public sector, Bob Behn chairs “Driving Government Performance: Leadership Strategies that Produce Results.”

Building a Common Outcome Framework To Measure Nonprofit Performance
The work described in this report first provides suggested core indicators for 14 categories of nonprofit organizations and then expands the notion of common core indicators to a much wider variety of programs by suggesting a common framework of outcome indicators for all nonprofit programs. This can provide guidance to nonprofits as they figure out what to measure and how to do it and will work to ease the looming reporting nightmare that will occur unless a common framework for outcome measurement emerges.

The Citizen’s Guide to the Alberta Legislature
The contents of this publication reflect the practices and procedures of the Legislative Assembly as of May 1, 2007. Readers are advised to check with the Legislative Assembly Office to ensure that the information as it relates to parliamentary practice within the Legislative Assembly is up to date.

Drowning in Data
In the frenzy over accountability, funders, donors, and the general public are calling for more program evaluation. But few understand evaluation well enough to conduct or bankroll high-quality studies. Without sufficient knowledge or funding, nonprofits are often collecting heaps of dubious data, at great cost to themselves and ultimately to the people they serve.

EPPI-Centre: The Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Co-ordinating Centre
The EPPI-Centre, based at the University of London (UK), conducts systematic reviews of research evidence across a range of topics and works with a large number of funders. Major areas include: Education; Health Promotion; Employment; Social care; and Crime and Justice. The reviews on these topics can be found in our Online Evidence Library, which provides evidence overviews of broad topic areas as well as summaries and full reports of specific reviews conducted or supported by the EPPI-Centre.

The Evaluation Exchange: A Periodical on Emerging Strategies in Evaluation
The Evaluation Exchange is a one-of-a-kind periodical that contains new lessons and emerging strategies for evaluating programs and policies, particularly those focused on children, families, and communities. Since it was launched in 1995, The Evaluation Exchange has become a nationally known and significant force in helping to shape evaluation knowledge and practice.

A Guide to Measuring Advocacy and Policy
As more foundations and non-profits have engaged in advocacy and policy work to address public issues and effect social change, there is a growing desire to gauge the impact of investments in this area. How to evaluate the effectiveness of advocacy and policy work is an emerging question of interest within the philanthropic and non-profit audiences. Answering that question, however, has proven difficult because relatively few instructive resources exist to help those who wish to measure progress in this area.

Improving the Non-Profit, Voluntary, and Charitable Sector’s Effectiveness in Influencing Decisions of Government
This discussion paper elaborates: (1) what the sector – as a sector rather than as individual agencies – might be able to accomplish with a well designed government relations / public policy program; (2) how such a program might be structured initially and over time; initial priorities of such a program and longer-term issues that should be considered from the outset; (3) how such a program might be developed, including the resources (human and financial) that would be required, the role of sector leaders and agencies in such a program, and advantages / disadvantages of attaching the program to a particular agency; and (4) a review of the advantages / disadvantages of starting a “firm” that deals exclusively with voluntary sector issues.

Making Measures Work for You
Outcomes are the observable results of programs that are created and funded in hopes of making a difference in the world. The case for measuring outcomes is hard to refute: if you can’t measure it, say the proponents of evaluation metrics, how can you know it’s happening? An effective organization or project, they say, has measurable effects. The steps you follow to make change – your outputs – are important, but the results of the process – the outcomes – are what matter in the end.

Memorandum to Cabinet Templates (federal)
These templates are used to summarize proposals that require Cabinet approval.

The Non-Profit Strategy Revolution
In this ground-breaking book, strategy expert David La Piana introduces “Real-Time Strategic Planning,” a fluid, organic process that engages staff and board in a program of systematic readiness and continuous responsiveness. With it, your nonprofit will be able to identify, understand, and act on challenges and opportunities as they arise—not in six months when the “plan” is done.

Participating in Federal Public Policy: A Guide for the Voluntary Sector
This guide is made up of tips, summaries of articles and other resources addressing how to become more involved in public policy. It is meant as a starting point for your organization’s exploration into policy dialogue with government.

Policy Development and Implementation in Complex Files
“Complex files” are many-layered programs involving a variety of players who need to create links between issues. Governments, which are vertical structures, must learn techniques to succeed in the horizontal environment of complex files. This report describes two related complex files: (1) the federal government’s National Homelessness Initiative and (2) the community- led effort to reduce poverty through the Vibrant Communities initiative.

Public Policy and Governance Portal
The PPG Portal is an online resource for graduate students, scholars and practitioners in the field of public policy.

Speaking For Themselves: Advocates’ Perspectives on Evaluation
The effort to build capacity for more effective advocacy evaluation is on track and making good progress. A growing number of funders and evaluators have moved beyond awareness and are actively engaged to improve practice. Still, there has been a significant gap in the work to date: What do the advocates themselves think about evaluating their own work? What skills and resources do they need to do it? What do they think of the evaluation methods and tools now available? As an early step to begin addressing this gap, The Atlantic Philanthropies and Annie E. Casey Foundation provided support for this research initiative intended to confirm anecdotal knowledge and answer some basic questions. Designed and implemented by Innovation Network, the research captures advocates’ perspectives on advocacy work and on evaluation practice.

Ten Steps To A Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation System
Governments, parliaments, citizens, the private sector, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), civil society, international organizations, and donors are among the stakeholders interested in better performance. As demands for greater accountability and real results have increased, there is an attendant need for enhanced results-based monitoring and evaluation of policies, programs, and projects. Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is a powerful public management tool that can be used to improve the way governments and organizations achieve results. Just as governments need financial, human resource, and accountability systems, governments also need good performance feedback systems.

WHO Commission on Social Determinants of Health – Final Report
Inequities in health, avoidable health inequalities, arise because of the circumstances in which people
grow, live, work, and age, and the systems put in place to deal with illness. The conditions in which people live and die are, in turn, shaped by political, social, and economic forces.


Policy Related Research

Governments in Canada

Philanthropy in Canada