Evaluation for Social Impact: A St. Louis Summit to bring together regional social service sector

Measurement techniques, technology focus of Oct. 16 and 17 summit sponsored by WUSTL, Nine Network

Health and human services organizations and programs are in constant growth and movement, and the need to effectively evaluate the impact of those initiatives in the community is greater than ever.

The Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis, together with WUSTL’s Skandalaris Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, the Nine Network, Youthbridge and the Rome Group, will present a two-day summit, “Evaluation for Social Impact,” Oct. 16 and 17 at Nine Network studios in midtown St. Louis.

“The Social Impact Summit represents the sea change occurring in the St. Louis social sector,” says Amanda Moore McBride, PhD, associate professor and associate dean in the Brown School. “No longer is evaluation seen as perfunctory, something required by funders that we must do. Instead, it is increasingly recognized as a tool for organizational leadership and effectiveness.”

The aim of the summit is to connect the interest in evaluation with current science and provide a summary of the state of evaluation in the field, by different topical areas: community development, arts & culture, public health, and entrepreneurship. It will bring together experts and professionals in keynotes, panel discussions, workshops and networking receptions.

“We encourage organizations to be represented as teams, so that stakeholder groups — board members, executive directors and program-level staff – can share the information and the skills they will learn through the summit to help institutionalize change in their organizations,” McBride says.

Technology will be used throughout the two-day summit so it can be structured as a two-way conversation in real time, McBride says. “We are using the state-of-the-art facilities of the Nine Network. Streaming video and Twitter feeds will be utilized; we also will have onsite polling through the use of text messaging.

“When attendees hear a presentation, we will want to know if that fits their context or not? What more do they need to know about that technique to integrate within their agency?”

This conversation, McBride says, is just the beginning.

“The summit sponsors are committed to increasing the capacity of the social sector going forward,” McBride says.

For more information, or to register, visit brownschool.wustl.edu/EvaluationSummit/ or email evaluationsummit@wustl.edu.