In the next generation model for evidence building, we envision that practitioners become the drivers of their evidence agendas, equipped with the strategies, tools, and talent they need to rigorously evaluate their programs and strengthen outcomes for the communities they serve. We imagine an ecosystem less governed by power, misplaced incentives, and sluggish learning, and instead defined by a commitment of time, tools, and talent to continuous evidence building, linking improvement to impact. We imagine that R&D is not just the privilege of the private sector, but common practice of the social sector.
In order for this better world to exist, we must reassign agency to leaders doing work in the field, allowing them to take command of evidence building practices in stronger alignment with researchers and policymakers and with support from like-minded funders.
This brief, developed as part of a joint Project Evident – Brookings Institution initiative to advance the next generation of evidence, discusses how we can expand on promising use cases to support the conditions needed for nonprofits to embrace evidence-building practices and accelerate impact.