In September 2011, Living Cities embarked on a developmental evaluation of its current portfolio of work. This evaluation effort is intended to help Living Cities (members and staff):
- Learn from its results,
- Increase its differential impact, and
- Create a culture of learning and innovation internally and in its network.
The “real-time” component of the evaluation is helping Living Cities achieve these goals by guiding Living Cities in applying what it is learning in current work and, building a culture of learning and innovation in the process--to make the embedded learning process “just how we do our work here.”
Living Cities contracted with 4th Quadrant Partners (4QP), an organizational learning expert, to implement the developmental evaluation. Fourth Quadrant Partners has found through its work that organizations in the social sector face three big challenges to building real-time learning into their work. These challenges can be addressed through tools and principles of emergent learning.