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Six things we’ve learned about power and their implications for evaluation

Power is an integral aspect of social change initiatives. It can shape relationships and enable or constrain the agency and impact of social change actors. Change actors constantly contend with power as they work to advance systems and structural change. But despite its significance, power is often missing from conversations about funding and evaluating social change. In the past year at Innovation Network, we’ve noticed an increase in the number of nonprofits and funders asking us to help them assess and learn about the power-building efforts of organizations, networks, and movements. To that end, we’re reviewing academic and practice-based works to better understand power, how it shows up in change ecosystems, and how we can appropriately evaluate it. Here’s what we’ve learned so far.

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