Measurement and Learning Approach

How can we measure and learn when promoting systems change? It’s a challenge that has inspired Laudes Foundation to develop a rubrics-based methodology to help us, our partners and the wider field of philanthropy, understand our contribution to change, while learning and adapting to new and unforeseen circumstances. 

Change cannot be captured by numbers alone because metrics put the focus on what can be counted, not always what’s most important. Rubrics are a framework that set a standard for what ‘good’ looks like – and create a shared language for describing and assessing it using both quantitative and qualitative evidence. At Laudes Foundation, the rubrics are integrated into our grantmaking processes – from the design phase through to measurement, evaluation and learning.

The four Laudes Foundation rubrics categories 

Laudes Foundation has developed 21 rubrics that work across different levels, from processes to long-term impact. When measuring a specific initiative, a smaller set of relevant rubrics are chosen and assessed on a rating scale from ‘harmful’ to ‘thrivable’.

The 21 rubrics are categorised into four groups, with some natural  overlap between categories B, C and D.

  • Category A focuses on the process-related aspects of initiatives, including design, implementation, monitoring, communication and learning, and organisation and network effectiveness.
  • Category B focuses on the early and later changes that need to happen to create the right conditions to achieve the 2025 outcomes.
  • Category C captures the 2025 outcomes, focusing on how policymakers, financiers, business leaders, and workers and producers behave.
  • Category D captures the 2030 impacts, describing the new reality created as a result of sustained efforts. 

When applying a rubric to a specific initiative, it is important to define, for example, the target regions and sectors. While most initiatives will have a primary emphasis on either climate mitigation or increasing equity and inclusion, they should also consider any intended or unintended effects on the other. 

Grant applications

Rubrics form a key part of our grantmaking process and are used in all grant applications over €100,000.

During the grant application process, our partners select two to four rubrics from categories B and C that are aligned with their initiatives' goal. Programme managers are available to guide and support partners throughout the grant application process, and the rubrics are selected in consultation with them. After the rubrics have been selected, partners are asked to fill in the table below.

During the monitoring and evaluation processes, partners self-assess the initiative’s performance against all process rubrics as well as rate the current situation for each of the selected early and later changes and 2025 outcomes rubrics.

The rating scale

Each rubric is rated using the following generic five-point rating scale:

Discover the Rubrics

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Rubrics?


A rubric is a framework that sets a standard for what ‘good’ looks like – and creates a shared language for describing and assessing it.

Reimagined for the field of philanthropy, rubrics become a measurement system that is sensitive to the changemaking process, captures how systems change happens – and highlights pathways to get there.

As well as improving our own measurement and learning approach, the rubrics are available for use by our partners and any organisations involved in grantmaking and systems change.

The rubrics appear to be quite generic. Can they successfully demonstrate shifts in my specific industry?


Laudes Foundation’s 21 rubrics are purposefully designed to be applicable across a wide range of initiatives, clusters of initiatives, industries, geographic locations, and so on. 

A small selection of relevant rubrics is applied when assessing an initiative or cluster of initiatives. The same set of rubrics should be used in every evaluation to track progress over time.

What is the logic behind the rating scale?


Laudes Foundation’s objective is to prevent climate breakdown and reduce inequality which is  central to the development of these rubrics. To help calibrate the rating levels across the rubrics, Laudes Foundation staff and evaluation experts have considered the impact of each level of performance on these urgent agendas.

  • Conducive and Thrivable: increasingly good practices and outcomes that  result in climate-positive and equitable changes. The group has carefully considered each rubric to ensure this highest level represents a serious stretch target, but is achievable with a sustained effort.
  • Partly Conducive: minimally acceptable practices that are contribute to progress in some instances. At this level the result is ‘minimally conducive’ but has room to scale to make a significant difference. 
  • Unconducive: performance, practices, beliefs and attitudes that maintain the status quo. The group feelsit is important the label for this rating conveys a ‘below par’ performance.
  • Harmful: performance, practices, beliefs and attitudes that harm people and/or the environment. This might mean the result is aggravating the situation, and important issues have not been taken into account, that need to be urgently addressed.

What kind of evidence can be used to measure and evaluate each rubric?


Partners, with support from Laudes Foundation’s programme and effective philanthropy teams, identify and select the most relevant data sources and quantitative and/or qualitative evidence to track the initiative’s contributions to intermediary and long-term outcomes. 

The rating of any specific rubric isbased on more than one source of evidence, and preferably contrasting evidence and sources of data that establish independent confirmation. This helps ensure conclusions are robust and not overly dependent on just one source of data or perspective. 

Robust conclusions and ratings are not purely a matter of validity; credibility is also important. Consider how others would read your assessment and what additional supporting evidence is needed to convince them the rating is justified and not just an opinion.

Does the rubrics framework replace logframes and theories of change?


Yes and no. We no longer use logframes, which are replaced by the rubrics framework in proposals. The theory of change, which is not (and won’t be) mandatory, may be used if deemed useful.

The effective philanthropy team continues to support partners in the design of fit-for-purpose measurement and learning frameworks,  as they have done with logframes and theories of change, but now with a better tool.