Measuring Together: A Learning Approach for Inclusive Economies 

In 2020, the Surdna Foundation’s Inclusive Economies and Learning Grants Operations teams, alongside a dedicated group of grantee partners, completed phase one of a two-part pilot program to co-create a set of metrics and indicators to measure progress toward collective goals. Phase one focused on the metrics identification and collection process. 

This week, the Surdna Foundation released phase two of the report. Measuring Together: A Learning Approach for Inclusive Economies examines one year of metrics data reported by grantees to:  

  • Explore grantees’ progress toward their self-selected targets 
  • Gain understanding about the types of successes and challenges grantees are experiencing 
  • Incorporate grantees’ feedback on the metrics collection and analysis process as we move beyond the pilot phase and implement this part of our learning systems fully. 

Key takeaways:  

  • Measurement for learning; not proving impact. The pilot focused on establishing a system for learning rather than evaluating if grantee partners reached their targets.  
  • Timing matters. This pilot coincided with the pandemic and influx of temporary federal dollars, illustrating that while the snapshot of learning around these metrics is important, we need to look at a long arc of these data before we can make conclusions about field-level impact. 
  • Economic narrative change is an emerging theme. Several organizations reported on narrative change work, highlighting issues such as preemption, fair wages, and working conditions.  

Finally, this report shares just one of the many ways Surdna is learning from and with our grantee partners as part of a larger learning initiative across the Foundation. As we build our learning system, our goals are to continually improve our practices and make grantmaking practices more accessible and equitable. To that end, we hope this report is a resource for others interested in jointly developing shared learning systems and data that benefit grantees and funders. 

Measuring Together: A Learning Approach for Inclusive Economies Report 2022