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Supporting adaptive learning to promote a climate positive, inclusive economy

Evaluating the effectiveness of the Laudes Foundation’s strategy and providing learning points for continuous improvement to address inequality and climate breakdown.


Client: The Laudes Foundation
Dates: March 2022 – September 2023
Country: Amsterdam, India, Switzerland, UK

The Laudes Foundation has a highly ambitious and complex aim: to address both inequality and climate breakdown caused by the current global economic dysfunction.

To help the Foundation achieve its 2025 goals, we provided ongoing support to help them understand their impact and identify how they can continue to learn from what is and isn’t working to adapt to current and changing circumstances.

By 2030, the Laudes Foundation aims to promote a climate-positive and inclusive economy across the sectors it works in. This means:

  • a financial industry that takes into account its impact on all people and nature,
  • a fashion industry that builds long-terms values of businesses workers, producers and nature; and
  • a built environment industry that prioritises decarbonisation and inspires healthy living.

The Laudes Foundation works across the finance, fashion and built environment industries with individuals at all levels including policymakers, financial actors, businesses, producers and communities. This gives the Foundation a unique position to leverage its networks for systemic and transformational change.

However, to achieve real change, the Foundation recognises it must go beyond developing a robust strategy and partners; it needs to reflect, learn and adapt as it goes along. As such, it partnered with an organisation that can follow and evaluate the strategy and provide regular, actionable and evidence based feedback.

Our role

We assessed the implementation of the Foundation’s strategy and its effectiveness, providing points for learning to assist in progress towards its 2025 outcomes.

Our evaluation had three specific objectives:

  • facilitate ongoing learning to maximize the effectiveness of the strategy
  • test the Foundation’s Theory of Change
  • identify which approaches (e.g. advocacy, scaling research and innovation) work best, when, why and in which context.

We worked at both programme and organisation level within the Foundation.

At project level, we facilitated learning cycles to ensure that programme teams had the information that they need to adapt now and into the future, as well as creating the space and evidence base needed for significant adaptations.

At the organisational level, we brought together evidence and learning from across three programmes to provide an overall view of the Foundation’s progress, influence and effectiveness.

Methods and approaches

This was a Developmental Evaluation, which is an evaluation that is designed to support innovation and guide adaptation in a dynamic way in real-time.

We designed our ways of working to be very collaborative, co-creating our objectives and deliverables with inputs from Laudes staff. The idea behind this is that the evaluation team was able to explore issues that are deemed most relevant and important to the Foundation’s staff. It also meant the team could provide rapid, real-time feedback that was used instantly for adaptation.

Although there were overarching objectives of the evaluation, our methodology meant they were not set in stone and the team continued to adapt and respond to new changes in line with the needs of the organisation.

Impacts and outcomes

The Itad team went through a final sensemaking season with the Laudes Foundation in 2023. This included programme-specific workshops to review theories of change, gain key insights and develop strategic questions to initiate discussions across the foundation and encourage evidence-informed decision making.

Collecting evidence of impact and engagement across the Foundation’s programmes, complemented by external research, led us to conduct programme-level workshops to co-create recommendations and strategic learning questions per programme, with a focus on the actors that the Foundation works with. All programme-level work culminated in an overarching Foundation evidence day and sensemaking report, that focused on assessing whether Laudes was working with the right actors in the right ways, and how the set-up of the Foundation did and could feed into their success. These findings were presented to the Foundation’s Management Team, providing recommendations and strategic questions to inform strategy formation moving forward.

Team members