Learning and Evaluation

Just like the currents, social change can be nonlinear, complex, and unpredictable.

Thousand Currents’ learning and evaluation approach recognizes that change is nonlinear and complex. Our extensive learning and evaluation systems have evolved to strike a balance between mutual trust and accountability, just like our partnership approach.

Most methods and techniques utilized by Thousand Currents’ Learning and Evaluation team are adopted from our partners in the Global South, who, in our estimation, are leading innovators in community-led learning and evaluation.

We consider it our role to not only highlight their approaches, but also credit and disseminate this vital knowledge. That means Thousand Currents staff constantly build our cultural, social, political, geographic, economic, and environmental competency to work most effectively with our partners.

Thousand Currents is proud to be ranked a Platinum participant on GuideStar, rated 5 out of 5 stars on GreatNonprofits, and be given a score of 100 percent on “accountability and transparency” practices by Charity Navigator.

Evaluation as Learning, Not a Test

Following the last Learning and Evaluation Report, which assessed the effectiveness of Thousand Currents’ partnership model, in 2012, we commissioned a Program Outcomes Research Report. This longitudinal study utilized qualitative and quantitative techniques to track the impact of our partners’ programs over the duration of our partnership. From winning a court case against Monsanto and the South African government on the right to know what is in food, to pioneering a new model of joint community ownership of land in India, to empowering hundreds of rural women with new ways to build strong livelihoods in Mexico, Thousand Currents partners’ game-changing models demonstrate to us how lasting social change is made.

Based on these reports and continual feedback from partners, Thousand Currents has undertaken significant revisions to its partnership model over the years. These changes include bringing in alliance building and support to strengthen our partners’ capacity into our grantmaking, as well as more intentional strategies to influence the philanthropic sector based on what partners are learning.

Annually, Thousand Currents’ Regional Directors, with support from the Learning and Evaluation team, respectfully evaluate our work with grassroots partners in the four areas of community self-determination, organizational resilience, global solidarity, and Social Justice Giving, incorporating the latest learnings into our ever-evolving Theory of Change. Together, we continue to hone our Theory of Change, making it an up-to-date and responsive tool to track the lasting and transformational changes that Thousand Currents helps usher.

What is Thousand Currents’ impact?

For more than 30 years, Thousand Currents (formerly IDEX) has invested in more than 500 community-led initiatives in the Global South, exchanging grassroots brilliance with powerful, proven agents for lasting and transformative change.

Our partners work with over 2 million  low-income women, small farmers, Indigenous People, urban residents, sexual and ethnic minorities, and youth each year.

Our partners’ solutions have global impact. With Thousand Currents’ support, several of our partners have been globally recognized for their game-changing models and solutions.

The Full Force

When forces of nature come together, their impact is felt around the globe.
Thousand Currents’ stories show the significance of our partners’ solutions in the Global South,
the strength of our supporters, and the brilliance of our collaborators.

Alternative Economies | Global

Rebuilding economic systems

We’re starting an investment fund from scratch and it’s NOT business as usual.

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Alternative Economies | Global

Rebuilding economic systems

We’re starting an investment fund from scratch and it’s NOT business as usual.

Africa | Climate Justice

Victory in Durban!

It takes courage to shut down the expansion of Durban’s port.

Climate Justice | Global

“Water is life ...”

The fight against the Dakota Access Pipeline is a critical fight for all of us around the world.

Alternative Economies | Latin America

“We resist through the art”

The women of AFEDES stand up to corporate theft of Mayan designs.

Africa | Grassroots Leadership

Stepping into power

An emerging young women’s movement is continuing the work of the previous generation of women’s rights leaders in Zimbabwe.

Asia | Grassroots Leadership

Mobilizing millions

Rural women in Nepal are transforming the economic and political landscape in their country.