The Walton Family Foundation invests in enduring conservation solutions to support the well-being of individuals and communities. In January 2021, the Foundation developed and launched a new 5-year strategic plan for their Environment Program, which seeks to protect water resources in the face of climate change to support healthier ecosystems and more vibrant communities for generations to come. The Environment Program tackles these challenges in the Mississippi and Colorado River Basins and in fisheries globally.
The Foundation’s strategy, learning, and evaluation department (SLED) plays a central role in providing actionable information to inform decision-making and increase impact. SLED brought on Environmental Incentives to serve as thinking-and-doing partners around monitoring, evaluation, and learning for the updated strategic plan. EI is supporting SLED staff and Walton program officers to ask targeted questions, manage information, evaluate performance, and make more informed decisions to guide adaptive management of initiatives and investments.
To date, EI has documented and evaluated indicators for the Environment Program’s strategic plan, defining a clear process for collecting, evaluating, and interpreting relevant data. EI and SLED staff are working closely to develop a monitoring, evaluation, and learning (MEL) framework, which connects learning agendas to theories of change, indicators, and data. Our team is also developing user-centric data management processes to simplify reporting and analysis, providing more timely and useful information to decision makers.