In designing an implementation evaluation for the Hawaiʻi Community Foundation’s middle school program, Connecting for Success (CFS), LFA looked to ideas from the school reform literature to build out the concept of strategic coherence, a concept that captures a particularly important aspect of implementation (one that our evaluation found to be among the most meaningful factors relating to the program’s success): School reforms are strategically coherent when they are logically consistent with other initiatives or programs, and with existing practices. When reforms cohere, the various policies and practices build on, complement, and reinforce one another; without coherence, the various policies and practices contradict one another and contribute to the fractured time and attention of school staff. Separate efforts may be based on conflicting strategies, and contradictory demands may be made of staff.
For those in the field who might want to explore the concept of strategic coherence as a critical aspect of high-quality program implementation, we offer a rubric that outlines the three dimensions of strategic coherence as well as a tool that includes items to measure these dimensions. Download the Rubric and Tool. Learn more about strategic coherence in our blog post here.
As we seek to actively participate in and evaluate systems change initiatives, we need a conceptual framework that supports a clear, shared sense of just what it is we are all talking about when we say “system” or “systems change.” LFA has developed A Practical Guide to Assessing Systems Change to address these issues. It offers a framework and a set of tools to help evaluators operationalize systems change concepts, and set up an approach to evaluate systems change initiatives. Download the Report
LEARN MORE about this guide.