Te Tuku-tahi i te Pūtea

Project Funding

Ako Aotearoa co-funds a range of projects aimed at improving tertiary sector teaching and learning and creating system-wide change.

Every project we fund is a partnership, where each partner shares project costs and takes responsibility for the project's success and outcomes, as well as its potential impact on the sector.

The projects we co-fund typically build capability, encourage collaboration and influence changes that make a positive difference for tertiary sector teachers, organisations and learners. Ako Aotearoa shares all outputs created from our projects through Creative Commons 4.0 (Attribution, Non-Commercial, Sharealike 4.0 International).

Update from November 2019

As part of Ako Aotearoa’s future planning, and our ongoing commitments to a wide range of important existing projects, we are pausing and reassessing the project funding part of our activities. We do expect to resume this work from late 2021 for funding of projects in 2022, and will advise nearer to the time. Our current co-funded projects will continue as usual under existing funding agreements. We will also continue to closely monitor the quality of project deliverables.

Project evaluation: how we do it

We use a tool called the Impact Evaluation Framework to assess all Ako Aotearoa projects.

The Impact Evaluation Framework, implemented in 2012, assesses projects according to four key areas. The following four interlinked rubrics are at the core of the evaluation process and are applied as relevant to the respective activity under consideration: 

  1. Reach (customisation and dissemination of project outputs/generation and sustainability of professional learning and development, generation and sustainability of communities of practice, networks of learning).
  2. Impact on learners (educational, social, cultural, environmental and economic outcomes).
  3. Impact on teaching professionals (enhanced knowledge, behaviour, motivation, attitude to teaching and beliefs).
  4. Impact on external environment and stakeholders (whole-of-organisation change, impact on other organisations and across sectors, impact on policy development and implementation, international context).

Read more about the Impact Evaluation Framework, how we use it and the timeline for implementing the framework (PDF, 224 KB, 10-pages).

The evaluation process

Our evaluation process starts with interviews with project teams at six, and 24 month intervals after a project has finished.

Next, we use the information to write a project story that summarises the key achievements of the project and any further follow up required. We use the Vertigo Ventures Impact Tracker to evaluate impact.

The project stories help us, our funders and any co-funding organisations to learn more about the outcomes achieved within the participating organisations and the wider sector.

By sharing these stories, we aim to help people approach their work with fresh eyes, using the latest evidence to do things differently and to make a positive difference for learners.

Download a guide to the Impact Evaluation Framework to find out more: Contributing to better tertiary teaching and learning outcomes – the summary (PDF, 427 KB, 10-pages).

Review of the Impact Evaluation Process

Ako Aotearoa’s Impact Evaluation Process has been updated following several independent reviews plus feedback from project teams and organisational budget holders.

The changes will strengthen and broaden the knowledge we gain on where and how impact takes place, e.g. including the improvement of educational, social, cultural and economic outcomes for learners.