Dancing between 'zoom in' and 'zoom out' perspectives to evaluate Social Innovation Labs

  • Mihaela Dinca-Panaitescu United Way Greater Toronto


Social Innovation (SI) Labs are increasingly gaining attention as a specific class of social innovation promising to effect systems change. Evaluation of SI Labs is in its infancy and there is, therefore, a limited track record of systematic evidence and learnings to support practice of SI Labs. This practice note shares insights and learnings from the process of evaluating a certain model of SI Labs grounded in the ‘zoom in – zoom out’ approach. This represents a hybrid approach that combines elements of developmental evaluation with elements of other evaluation approaches to enable the interplay between two complementary perspectives: a more in-depth look into each phase of the Lab (‘zoom in’) and a broader look at the Lab in its entirety (‘zoom out’) and its contribution to a more established place-based strategy.

Author Biography

Mihaela Dinca-Panaitescu, United Way Greater Toronto

Credentialed evaluator


Practice Note- English