Who Used Our Findings? Framing Collaborations Between American Foundations and Think Tanks through Practices in the Evaluation of Policy Influence
Gonzalez-Capitel Martorell, Jaime Anton
American foundations measure returns on investments through evaluations that often gauge program outcomes and impact, but evaluation research has seldom been conducted on public policy research centers. This study exposes theoretical reasons for this disconnect, proposes the advocacy coalition framework (ACF) to frame collaborations between foundations and think tanks, contrasts indicators of think tank influence with evaluation policies of prominent foundations and existing methods and techniques for the appraisal of policy influence in the fields of advocacy and international development, and identifies recommendations and best practices. Original data were collected through 22 interviews to foundation staffers, think tank staffers and evaluation experts. The primary hypothesis that foundations drive the evaluation of think tanks is supported with several case studies in which think tanks are building their capacity or conducting self-evaluation research
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