Shar McLean and Esteban Colon on Tools for Organizational Assessment

We are Shar McLean and Estaeban Colon and today we’re going to tell you about a great resource for tools and tips for assessing organizational effectiveness.

Rad Resource – Reflect & Learn: Reflect & Learn is a website filled with tools, case studies, and models focusing on effective use of Organization Assessment (OA). According to their site “Universalia, the International Development Research Center (IDRC), and Fundación Acceso created Reflect & Learn (R&L) in 2000.”

Rad Resource – Database of Organizational Self Assessment Tools:  R&L’s database includes over 60 tools for organizational assessment from multiple sources. It’s our favorite part of the R&L site. Here are four tools from the database that you may find particularly useful to learn more about and improve your work related to organizational effectiveness:

  • Organizational Capacity Self-Assessment Tool – Guidelines for Developing an Organizational Training Plan: This guide from the Academy for Educational Development, and funded by USAID, walks organizations through key items that should be in place to situate an organization for success with organizational training, including a self-reflective rubric for assessing capacity around each category (management & governance, human resources, managing activities, relationships, etc.).
  • Using Data to Improve Service Delivery: A Self-Evaluation Approach – From the Center for Applied Research on Population and Development / USAID, the guide is aimed at development health workers wishing to improve services at their facilities. It follows a five-step approach of collecting data, analyzing data, evaluating the situation, finding a solution, and monitoring the resulting plan of action. Each step is explored including concrete advice and examples.
  • McKinsey Capacity Assessment Grid – this extensive organizational assessment rubric is part of a larger organizational assessment framework. The rubric is the most detailed we found, with descriptive explanations of both poor and strong organizational indicators. The more extensive OA report and framework of which the grid is a part, may be found here.

Hot Tip – or Maybe Cold Tip – Resolving Out of Date Links: Warning, unfortunately the R&L database includes many resources with out of date links. It can be frustrating to use, but don’t give up. If a link isn’t working, google the name of the resource and we’ve had success finding more current links.

This contribution is from the aea365 Daily Tips blog, by and for evaluators, from the American Evaluation Association. Please consider contributing – send a note of interest to

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