The National Fund tracks results, measures value for its stakeholders, and leverages information and evaluations to learn and share insights throughout its network. Its Learning and Evaluation Framework summarizes the approach.
Tracking Our Progress
With support from the Social Innovation Fund and multiple national foundations, the National Fund has supported tens of thousands of individuals in developing new skills and organized thousands of businesses into industry partnerships. It has tracked its progress annually to ensure that it’s making progress against its goals and benefiting its partner communities and stakeholders. Program and Policy Insight produces details every year on the number of individuals and employers served, the services provided, and the National Fund’s progress against its stated goals.
Measuring Our Value and the Effectiveness of Our Approach
The National Fund seeks to serve multiple stakeholders including individuals, employers, and communities, while also working to improve workforce and labor systems through its “systems change” efforts. These evaluations explore the National Fund’s value to individuals, businesses, and communities including changes to education and workforce systems.
It has measured the effectiveness of its programs against traditional workforce programs with its Social Innovation Fund-supported evaluation of partnership programs in Wisconsin and Ohio. It measures its value to employers through business impact studies and business surveys.
The National Fund also recognizes private and non-profit employers with its Young Adult and Frontline Healthcare Worker Champion programs and documents their successful training and development practices. Finally, the National Fund has developed rubric for measuring “systems change” and it tracks its “system change” accomplishments by reporting on hundreds of improvements made to the policies, practices, and systems of businesses, education, and training providers; philanthropic organizations; and public institutions that shape the economic and workforce landscape.
Deepening Our Learning
The National Fund network is focused on using evidence to drive innovation and uses multiple strategies to continuously evaluate, learn from, and improve its work. It operates learning groups of its collaborative directors on key issues like generating good jobs, serving young adults, and utilizing apprenticeships. It organizes meetings of business, community-based organizations and workforce practitioners to foster sharing and collaboration. It maintains a robust archive of local and national evaluations recording the success, challenges, methodology, and impact of its initiatives and investments. In each region partners and staff engage with providers and local evaluators to strive to continuously learn and improve programs.
Presenting Our Findings
Selected evaluation reports from the National Fund and its network are available on this page, below.
The Evaluation Series: Using Qualitative and QuantitiveInformation provides tangible advice and recommendations on how local organizations can collect and use qualitative and quantitative information to improve their work. Items in the series include:
This document focuses on the importance of qualitative or ethnographic evaluation in understanding the impact of a program from a worker or employer perspective. These findings clarify the effective and challenging elements of a workforce intervention.