Evaluation practices in the french third sector organizations/ Florence Brunet

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Evaluation practices in the french third sector organizations/ Florence Brunet

  1. 1. EVALUATION PRACTICES IN THE FRENCH THIRD SECTOR ORGANIZATIONS Ivalua seminar Barcelona November 3rd, 2011
  2. 2. Our datas and information sources <ul><li>A long time experience of consultancy and evaluation for third sector ’ s associations and foundations… </li></ul><ul><li>… and for public authorities in the field of social inclusion, economic development and urban policies </li></ul><ul><li>A specific survey lead in 2009 about the evaluation practices of associations, foundations and charity organizations </li></ul>FORS - Recherche sociale
  3. 3. The landscape of french « associations » <ul><li>The « associative » model : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>a dedicated legal framework… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>which recovers structures with diverse and multiple purposes… </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>… and different financing sources </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The paradoxical situation of French associations : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Operators of social policies for the government </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Structures bearing innovation and experiencing new solidarities </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Militant organizations, mixing volunteers ans social workers </li></ul></ul></ul>FORS - Recherche sociale
  4. 4. A recent, but wide spreading of the « evaluation culture » <ul><li>7 out of 10 associations have set up assessment processes to evaluate their activities’ impact </li></ul><ul><li>9 out of 10 associations think it is necessary to evaluate their performances </li></ul><ul><li>However, this trend concerns mostly : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>the most « professionalized » structures </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>the structures working at an international level </li></ul></ul>FORS - Recherche sociale
  5. 5. A strong impulse of financing actors <ul><li>A growing pressure from the public financing institutions </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Calls for tenders with more and more normative specifications which include an evaluation clause </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A diffusion of the evaluation culture promoted by the european programs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Private financiers : from « donation » to « investment » </li></ul><ul><li>Organizations subjected to multiple controls </li></ul>FORS - Recherche sociale
  6. 6. The impact of the 2002 « social modernization law » <ul><li>An impulse for the professionalization of associations and foundations </li></ul><ul><li>The obligation of assessment </li></ul><ul><li>New financing frameworks : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>From perennial subventions to temporary measures </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A need for « rentability »? </li></ul></ul></ul>FORS - Recherche sociale
  7. 7. Evaluation of performance and voluntary work : a delicate balance <ul><li>Volunteers are sometimes reluctant to the evaluation principle </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational and practical issues : </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The absence of hierarchical frameworks </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The level of training of the volunteers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Management constraints likely to discourage the volunteers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Is it possible to « professionalize » the volonteers without « killing the volontary work »? </li></ul>FORS - Recherche sociale
  8. 8. A large range of evaluation practices… but sometimes a lack of methodological framework <ul><li>Associations are sometimes reluctant to consider the link between results and costs </li></ul><ul><li>How to assess the « human dimension »? </li></ul><ul><li>A persistent confusion between « evaluation », « control » and « quantitative assessment » of the results </li></ul>FORS - Recherche sociale
  9. 9. A tool for the reflection rather than an answer for management <ul><li>2 evaluations on 5 are internally made or self-conducted </li></ul><ul><li>90% TSO change their practices following the results of evaluations… </li></ul><ul><li>… but only 50% modify the allocation of their human and financial resources </li></ul>FORS - Recherche sociale
  10. 10. Progress to be made : the spreading and exploitation of the evaluation’s results <ul><li>Only 25% of TSO : </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Communicate towards the public about the evaluation’s results </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mention these results in their annual report </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Capitalizing on the results : a driving force for the development of evaluation </li></ul>FORS - Recherche sociale
  11. 11. Still several obstacles to overcome… <ul><li>The danger of evaluation as being a strictly administrative process </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The modelisation of standardized indicators, little adapted to the reality of TSO </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>The subordination to « an evaluation market », in the wake of the big european or national programs </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>The danger of a « smokescreen » evaluation : « it is not because you have an excellent evaluation that you are excellent… » </li></ul>FORS - Recherche sociale
  12. 12. Practices are today at a new stage of development <ul><li>After the spreading of a « culture of the evaluation », the beginning of a new era of appropriation of its methods and its tools </li></ul><ul><li>TSO which free themselves from imposed frames and build their own reference framework for evaluation, based on their values and project </li></ul><ul><li>The notion of « performance » related to the concept of « social utility » </li></ul>FORS - Recherche sociale

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