Event Details

Evaluating Community Impact: Capturing and making sense of community outcomes

Tuesday, November 15, 2016 - Thursday, November 17, 2016
Mark Cabaj and Liz Weaver
Crowne Plaza Hotel | Hamilton, Ontario

"Moving the needles" on community-wide issues requires cross-sector coordination, an engaged community... and a new approach to evaluation.

There are countless community change initiatives working on a diversity of issues in our country, such as early childhood development, health care, education, poverty and homelessness, immigration and workforce development. Evaluating Community Impact: Capturing and Making Sense of Community Outcomes is a three-day workshop intended to provide those who are funding, planning and implementing community change initiatives with an opportunity to learn the latest and most practical evaluation ideas and practices.

This workshop is best suited to those who have an interest and some basic knowledge and experience with evaluation and are eager to tackle the challenging but critical task of getting feedback on local efforts to change communities. It is not designed for professional evaluators. Please browse this webpage to learn more about the workshop and how you can become a member of our learning community from November 15-17 in Hamilton, ON.

A New Curl & Five New Workshops

A new workshop format that helps workshop participants develop concrete elements of an evaluation strategy for their work back in their home community. 

1. Three frameworks to organize and communicate the “progress” of community change initiatives

2. Four scenarios for using hard and soft indicators to capture outcomes

3. A new method for demonstrating a group’s contribution – rather than attribution -- to outcomes

4. Five aides to improve the chances that social innovators and evaluators develop evaluations that are used

5. A continuum of strategy – ranging from emergent to traditional – and their implications for evaluation


Who Should Attend?

This workshop is for you if:

- You manage programs that need to be evaluated

- You are part of a collaborative that is trying to understand how to evaluate

- You are a community development professional who wants to make the connection between learning and community change

- You are in a collective impact network and wanting to understand shared measurement

- Evaluation is part of your job description



Workshop Faculty

Mark Cabaj is a leading thinker on developmental evaluation and Liz Weaver has a wealth of experience with project evaluation and shared measurement.

Mark Cabaj

2013-05-02_mark_cabaj_126x148Mark is President of the consulting company From Here to There and an Associate of Tamarack – An Institute for Community Engagement.

Mark’s current focus is on developing practical ways to understand, plan and evaluate efforts to address complex issues (e.g. neighborhood renewal, poverty and homelessness, community safety, educational achievement and health). He has first-hand knowledge of using evaluation as a policy maker, philanthropist, and activist, and has played a big role in promoting the merging practice of developmental evaluation in Canada. Mark has worked on over two dozen evaluation projects over the last two years in the following areas:

  • Providing real time feedback into groups developing new models and programs (e.g. Aboriginal anti-gang programs, social marketing campaign for healthy lifestyles, a new provincial-wide, tri-Ministry supported, regional service delivery model, a national  sustainability transition labs).

  • Learning, Outcome & Measurement frameworks for Collective Impact initiatives (e.g. community safety, high school completion, poverty reduction, and educational achievement).

  • Strategic Learning Frameworks for Funding Organizations (e.g. a foundation of a large energy company, an association for museums, a large utility-based trust, and government programs)

While studying the Solidarity movement in Krakow, Poland, in mid-1989, Mark experienced a variety of tumultuous events that signalled the end of communism in Eastern Europe. He stayed to experience the rebirth of the region and worked as an Investment Advisor in Poland’s Foreign Investment Agency, the Foreign Assistance Coordinator for Grants in the new Ministry of Privatization, and the Mission Coordinator for the creation of the United Nations Development Program’s first regional economic development initiative in Eastern Europe.

Back in Canada, Mark was the Coordinator of the Waterloo Region’s Opportunities 2000 project (1997-2000), an initiative that won provincial, national and international awards for its multi-sector approach to poverty reduction. He served briefly as the Executive Director of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDNet) in 2001. From 2002 to 2011, he was Vice President of the Tamarack Institute and the Executive Director of Vibrant Communities Canada.

Mark lives in Edmonton, Alberta (Canada) with his wife Leann and their children Isaiah and Zoë.  


Liz Weaver

CIS_LizLiz is the Vice-President of Tamarack and leads the Tamarack Learning Centre. Previously, she led the Vibrant Communities Canada team where she provided coaching, leadership and support to a network of community partners across Canada. Liz is one of Tamarack’s most in-demand trainers. She has developed and delivered curricula on a variety of workshop topics including: collaborative governance, leadership, collective impact, community innovation, influencing policy change and social media for impact and engagement and evaluating community impact.

Liz is one of Canada's leading practitioners in Collective Impact and Community Change and her interest and experience in evaluation and collaborative learning is legendary. While with the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction she developed an Outcomes Diary Tool which was effective in tracking comprehensive community change.  With the Caledon Institute of Social Policy, Liz participated on a team that evaluated policy influence and impact.  Liz contributed to the evaluation design of the first ten years of Vibrant Communities and contributed a case study to Cities Reducing Poverty.  

Prior to joining Tamarack, Liz was the Director for the Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction, which was recognized with the Canadian Urban Institute’s David Crombie Leadership Award in 2009. In her career, Liz has also held leadership positions with YWCA Hamilton, Volunteer Hamilton and Volunteer Canada. In 2002, Liz completed a Masters of Management through McGill University and her thesis Storytelling and the Voluntary Sector was published. Liz was awarded a Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2002 for her leadership in the voluntary sector and in 2004 was awarded the Women in the Workplace award from the City of Hamilton.