Building evidence

Building evidence toolkit

Welcome to the Building Evidence Toolkit. You may be visiting this site because you are starting to build evidence for the work that you do, are interested in enhancing your current structure for building evidence or just simply interested in learning more. Our goal is that this toolkit will be as useful as possible and can help enhance your evidence-building capacity.

We developed this Toolkit in collaboration with five Latin@ serving community-based organizations (La Paz, Trans Latina Coalition, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, Voces Latinas, Esperanza United. Thus, this Toolkit is grounded in the realities of community-based organizations working from a culturally-specific framework.

Background on this toolkit 

In this section of our toolkit, we invite you to explore and learn about community-centered evidence. This is the foundation for how we think about evidence and documenting evidence.  In other words, this section includes the special ingredients for our meals. In our case, our special ingredients are community members and we strongly believe they should guide all that we do, including building evidence.   As you will learn by reading our special ingredients, this information has  emerged as a result of a communal effort, with our colleagues sharing their recipes and tweaks to enrich and expand our knowledge and expertise about documenting evidence from a community centered perspective.   We hope this information is helpful to you. 

What do we mean by building evidence?

We know from our work with community-based organizations that you and your organization are already experts in pulling in the information you need to do your work on a daily basis.  Sometimes what might be missing is the documentation of such efforts.

Using a recipe as a metaphor, your recipe (initiative or program) is a combination of ingredients (what you do, how you do it, and with what resources). You and your organization are constantly making changes to the ingredients based on the feedback that you get from your taste-testers (the community members with whom you work). Sometimes you might be in the middle of adjusting your ingredients-echando mas pimiento o minimizando sal- and this might make you forget to write down the changes that you made to your recipe and the reasons for the changes. This is an important step. Documenting and improving your recipe is what we call evaluation or building evidence.  

This toolkit is meant to help you document or improve your recipe by keeping track of your ingredients or changes to your ingredients and the information provided by your taste-testers.

New to building evidence

Here, you will find what you need to get started in documenting the receta of your great work.

Exploring community evidence

This section is for those who want to explore what community evidence means.

Enhancing your current evidence

This section is for those who have their receta documented but might want to add special Latin@ specific ingredientes.

Learning community

Workgroup members