The Wisconsin Partnership Program exists in a culture that strongly values evidence as a way to ensure our grant funding is meeting its goals. The Program’s basic tenets rest on testing and assessing theories and outcomes. Evaluation is woven throughout each step of the grant process and all grant outcomes are carefully reviewed.

To date the Wisconsin Partnership Program has awarded more than $200 million for 450 grants. We are strongly committed to understanding the impact of these investments through evaluation.

Our framework for understanding impact

Evaluation has been present in our grantmaking since the Partnership Program’s inception. It has influenced the development of new grant programs, led to improvements in grant review processes and emphasized evaluation for individual grants.

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Framework for Evaluation: The Wisconsin Partnership Program's framework includes levels of evaluation to increase understanding, learning and improve processes.

Aided by a framework for evaluation, the Wisconsin Partnership Program conducts evaluation at multiple levels, assessing outcomes such as:

  • sustainability of grantee projects by measuring leveraged funding from external partners
  • creation of knowledge and demonstration of learning through publication of results
  • process improvements based on evidence and insights gained from reviews of grant reports

This evaluative framework ensures evidence informs decision-making at all levels of the Partnership Program.

In addition, the Partnership Program annually produces Outcome Reports that detail grantee outcomes and accomplishments. See the Publications and Reports page for all available Outcome Reports.

Our impact by the numbers

$487 million

Amount leveraged by Wisconsin Partnership Program grantees


Partnership Program grants have been awarded to all 72 counties in Wisconsin


Health professionals whose workforce capacity has been directly improved by Wisconsin Partnership Program education initiatives

Assessing results

The Wisconsin Partnership Program measures impact in several ways, such as leveraging additional funding, improvements within the healthcare workforce and creation of knowledge.

Return on investment

From 2004 to 2017, the Partnership Program invested $206.1 million in 450 grants. Many of these grants attracted additional funding to sustain, replicate or expand their projects. In fact, Partnership Program grants have generated more than $487 million in leveraged funding. Such a substantial amount reflects the worth, success and sustainability of the grant programs. Leveraging also demonstrates that other funders believe the projects merit additional funding, allowing grantees to sustain, replicate and expand their programs.

Improving the health workforce

The Wisconsin Partnership Program has made a significant investment in education initiatives that address the state’s public health and clinical workforce needs. We have supported 32 education and workforce development grants, which have resulted in more than 2700 students and community members trained to effectively improve health.

Knowledge creation

Partnership Program grantees have produced more than 3,200 peer-reviewed publications and numerous presentations, reports and earned media interactions. Disseminating research and grant results through these methods helps other individuals or organizations build knowledge, which spurs further research and health improvements.

Understanding impact: partnerships are key

Our evaluation approach aims to identify outcomes of our investments with the understanding that the Partnership Program contributes, along with our partners, to improved health, well-being and health equity.

The Wisconsin Partnership Program is one of many organizations that influence health in Wisconsin, and our unique placement within the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health provides significant university resources, talent and expertise that enhance our impact. We recognize that strong partnerships are necessary because many organizational systems influence an individual’s health to some degree through their policies and structures.

Healthcare systems, government, public health, schools, non-profit organizations, faith institutions and other organizations are just some examples of the organizations we partner with to improve health, well-being and health equity. We have invested in partnerships that work in every county in the state. Our evaluation process helps us understand how these partnerships have contributed to improvements in health.

Our next steps

From basic research targeting debilitating diseases, to educating medical professionals and authentically engaging with local partners, the Wisconsin Partnership Program continues to provide an innovative and evolving approach to advancing health, health equity and healthcare.

Our evaluation program continues to evolve. Through our five-year planning process, the Wisconsin Partnership Program is using evidence and community experience to identify new goals and strategies. In addition, we are developing measurable outcomes, which we will use to assess our progress in improving health. The Partnership Program is also updating its evaluation plan, which we use to provide annual reports and data as needed to our committees and stakeholders. Ultimately, the evaluation plan will help us to further understand impact and continuously refine our evaluation process to address new evidence and information.