Evaluation techniques can be qualitative (e.g., interviews, focus groups, observation, document analysis) and quantitative (survey, personal questionnaire etc).
A number of US or Canadian tools currently exist for the purposes of evaluating boards and their relative effectiveness. For example —
- Herman and Renz (1997)(1) propose board effectiveness as a function of:
- Stakeholder and CEO judgements of board effectiveness;
- Board, staff, and funders' perceptions of organisational effectiveness;
- Objective indicators such as stated organisational effectiveness criteria;
- Other organisational variables such as total revenue, and retrenchment strategies.
- Another example is the Board Self-Assessment Questionnaire (Jackson and Holland, 1998)(1). This assesses board performance in six areas that have been shown to be characteristic of effective boards (i.e., context; education; interpersonal, analytical, political, and strategic skills)
- Lastly, the Governance Self-Assessment Checklist (Gill, Flynn and Reissing, 2005)(1) assesses board effectiveness on twelve dimensions, e.g. relating to board culture, management, decision-making, monitoring, and development.
The Developing Your Board project is developing both qualitative and quantitative tools, based around the major office bearers of Australian nonprofit boards. These evaluation tools will be particularly suited for the Australian context.