New Direction, Midcourse

Redesigning a Program While It's in Progress

In this chapter of the Anthology, author Tony Proscio, a freelance writer and consultant to foundations and nonprofit organizations, looks at programs that were going off track and underwent mid-course corrections. Unlike the programs discussed in the first chapter, the programs that Proscio examines were assessed early and adjustments to them were made. This chapter is unusual in that the author and the editors decided to disguise the grantees in the last of the three case studies. The difficult decision to conceal the names of the programs was made because some of the participants are still working in the field, and it was felt that naming them might have damaged their reputations without conferring any strong counterbalancing benefit. While transparency is certainly a desirable goal, in practice, as this chapter illustrates, it is not always easy to achieve. There is a difference between opening oneself to public scrutiny and airing sensitive matters that could be harmful, and that difference must be recognized and respected.