Evidence and learning

We want our resources to have the greatest possible impact. To do this well, we need to learn about social issues, sectors and the challenges of running organisations. We want to be known for our field knowledge and networks, and for being ahead of the curve on some of these complex issues. We want to create a reciprocal environment of knowledge exchange.

We will set out to:

  • Support grantees to collect and use evidence to enable them to understand and increase their impact
  • Work with grantees to understand more about the results of the work we fund, so that we can make available information about their work that will be useful to others
  • Analyse how effectively each of our funds is working, so that we can make informed decisions about changing our approach
  • Consult applicants, grantees and others we work with, to help us understand how to support them more effectively
  • Build and share our own knowledge, and support the development and exchange of learning across the sectors we work with

Our approach to evidence and learning is underpinned by some key principles:

  • Building proportionate and tailored approaches into our grant-making processes and relationships with grantees
  • Helping grantees to have access to evidence that is as useful as possible
  • Working to strengthen PHF itself as an organisation that uses evidence effectively to improve its work
  • Sharing information publicly about our work
  • Collaborative learning


We believe that much of the change we wish to see will take time to achieve and our strategic approach is long-term for this reason. Whilst we expect our mission, values and the ways in which we work to be consistent, we know we also need to be responsive and flexible as a funder. We will use an annual review process to reflect, adapt and revise. We will create a more formal moment in 2021 to take account of the impact of our support to date and the environment in which we are operating, and to assess whether our priorities need to be refined.