Partnership Grant Learning Project - A Report on Capacity Building

Submitted by Donna Jean Fors... on August 17, 2016 - 1:51am

Demonstrating the Results of Capacity Building is the final report of the Partnership Grants Learning Project (PGLP). 

In 2010, the Ontario Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration funded 27 organizations all across Ontario to deepen the capacity of non-profit organizations and networks.  In all 7.2 million was invested in these 26 projects over a 3 year period.  At Tamarack this funding has supported the development of three learning communities: Deepening Community, Communities Collaborating, and this one - Cities Reducing Poverty.  As the projects progressed, the Mowat Centre, Ontario Non-Profit Network and Tamarack came together to suggest that there would be great value in understanding what the collective learning and value has been in funding capacity building in this way.  This was the birth of the Partnership Grant Learning Project.

From the Executive Summary of the paper:

This paper examines the results of the Partnership Grants Learning Project (PGLP) and is organized around key areas of learning from the project:

» The three evaluation tools (Most Significant Change, Outcome Harvesting and Network Mapping) used in the process are reviewed in terms of how they were adapted to this project and their strengths and weaknesses for use in this context;

» Each evaluation method is reviewed for the capacity building results they were able to capture in this process; and

» Results from the process are reviewed by capacity building theme with an analysis of how the evaluation tools were useful, individually and in combination, in capturing these results.

Based on the experiences of the participants and the evaluators, this paper distills the learning for future capacity building in the sector. Key learnings from the process include the importance of having an evaluation framework, the value of strengthening the capacity for evaluation within organizations, the importance of ownership in the process, and the adaptation and application of the tools themselves.

Using these evaluation tools, PGP grantees were able to demonstrate increased and strengthened relationships with key partners, including relationships across sectors, pointing to the growth of networks and social capital within the sector. There were also several examples of collaboration that were identified through the process that point to an increased level of engagement between organizations and an increase in the ability of organizations to respond to and act on opportunities that strengthen their missions. As well, there were outcomes identified through the process that demonstrated increased capacity for strategic planning and delivery on mission. Taken together,
these developments signal an overall increase in the capacity of PGP grantees. This capacity results in better engagement with stakeholders, clients and partners; enhanced outcomes for collaboration; and strengthened delivery on mission.

Find the full report here: