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Evaluation Principles and Practices from the Hewlett Foundation


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An Internal Working Paper

The purpose of this document is to advance the Foundation’s existing work so that our evaluation practices become more consistent across the organization. We hope to create more common understanding of our philosophy, purpose, and expectations regarding evaluation as well as clarify staff roles and available support. With more consistency and shared understanding, we expect less wheel re-creation across program areas, greater learning from each other’s efforts, and faster progress in designing meaningful evaluations and applying the results.

The following paper is organized into four substantive sections: (1) Principles, (2) Organizational Roles, (3) Practice Guide, and (4) Special Evaluation Cases. Supporting documents include a glossary of terms (Appendix A). The Principles and Organizational Roles should be fairly enduring, while the Practice Guide should be regularly updated with new examples, tools, and refined guidance based on lessons we learn as we design, implement, and use evaluations in our work.

Download: EvaluationPrinciples-FINAL.pdf

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