The Program Evaluation Working Group proposed recommendations for SHIFT's Funding and Support program at a variety of scales, from individual application questions to organizational priorities. Here below are 6 key recommendations, based on their research and analysis:
Define and clarify information about in-kind support. There is a mutual lack of understanding between applicants and SHIFT about non-financial support measures. However, these supports have the potential to bring important benefits to community partners in the context of project-based funding.
Transform the application process in a multiple-step process with increased opportunities for back-and-forth communication between applicants and SHIFT staff before their applications are submitted to jury members for selecton.
Support funded project teams in implementing evaluation tools that are relevant for their projects. In order to evaluate the net impact of the program, SHIFT must create systems which enable an initial evaluation of project teams and compare it with a second evaluation of where the project team is at when the funding and support has concluded. SHIFT should provide support to teams to develop their own internal evaluation processes, which will be particular to each project.
Foster the creation of a learning community in which knowledge and expertise is shared between SHIFT staff and project teams, as well as between projects and the broader SHIFT community
Prioritize evaluation processes, data collection and information feedback loops throughout SHIFT during Year 2 by creating a working group or committee explicitly assigned with these tasks
Prepare the groundwork for an efficiency evaluation to be conducted at the end of Year 2 by building in evaluation tools and metrics throughout program development. There is generally insufficient data at this time to assess whether or not the cost of administering the Funding and Support Program is justifiable, or whether other programming could offer more efficient progress towards SHIFT’s mission and vision.