Organizational Effectiveness

ERG helps environmental, resource management, and public health clients build robust and resilient organizations and programs; fulfill their vision, mission, and goals; and achieve lasting outcomes. Our services span the full continuous improvement cycle—from planning and implementation to evaluation and learning. Through our work over the past 20+ years, we have increased the effectiveness and capacity of over 100 organizations—including federal and state agencies, nonprofit organizations, foundations, universities, and research institutions. In all our projects, we collaborate with our clients—and where appropriate engage their stakeholders and partners—to develop strategies and systems for enhancing effectiveness, durability, and impact. For example, we facilitate visioning and planning processes, and equip clients with knowledge and tools for strategic decision-making and transformation. We design and strengthen governance structures, institutional arrangements, and operational strategies. To provide a foundation for improvement, we facilitate development of monitoring, evaluation, and learning plans and conduct neutral, valid, and reliable evaluations to assess effectiveness and impact. Then we facilitate organizational learning and support clients in developing strategies to improve future performance.

Strategic Planning
  • Systems and network mapping and landscape assessments
  • Needs assessments
  • SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analyses
  • Political and demographic trend analyses, including power mapping
  • Design and facilitation of strategic planning meetings and retreats
  • Development of comprehensive strategic plans
  • Programmatic exit strategies
Lean and Six Sigma Process Analyses
  • Process mapping, including developing swim lane diagrams
  • Value stream mapping
  • Cause-and-effect analyses, including fishbone diagramming and "5 whys"
  • Failure mode effects analyses
  • House of quality/quality function deployment analyses
  • Statistical process control analyses
  • Voice of customer surveys
Operations and Governance
  • Feasibility and alignment of new organizational and corporate structures and institutional arrangements
  • Design of governance structures and organizational frameworks based on best practice models
  • Operational plans to facilitate growth, enhance capacity, and prioritize needs
  • Analysis and tools to support strategic data-based decision-making
  • Executive and board transitions
  • Assessment of performance and workflow to improve efficiency and effectiveness
  • Training, tools, and systems to build human resource capacity
  • Staff recruitment support and due diligence
  • Mergers and restructuring, including for-profit and nonprofit corporate structures and hybrids
  • Communication strategies, branding, and products to support organizational effectiveness
Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning
  • Developmental, formative, real-time, and summative evaluations of organizations, portfolios, programs, and projects
  • Development of SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely) metrics
  • Frameworks and tools to assess and measure contribution, causality, and success/impact
  • Program evaluation and performance measurement
    • Effectiveness studies
    • Systems change
    • Customer satisfaction studies
    • Feasibility studies and pilot programs
    • Impact analyses
    • Network and contribution analyses
    • Return on investment and financial and benefit-cost analyses
    • Budget and performance integration studies
    • Lookback reviews and retrospective analyses
  • Learning sessions for staff and partners on progress, best practices, and lessons learned
  • Methods for improving performance and enhancing success through adaptive management
Stakeholder and Partner Support
  • Partner identification and recruitment
  • Development of strategies to build buy-in and foster productive relationships
  • Meeting design and facilitation
  • Consensus building, including development of consensus documents
  • Development of partnership strategies and agreements
  • Development of public-private partnerships
  • Comprehensive support for federal and state partnership programs
  • Design and production of branding and communication materials
Funding and Long-Term Financing
  • Identification of potential new funding sources
  • Design of sustainable financing mechanisms
  • Feasibility analyses of potential alternative revenue streams
  • Fundraising strategies (including donor databases, donor capacity and prioritization, target ask amounts, timelines, and logistics)
  • Concept documents and cultivation strategies for approaching new donors and funding streams
  • Training and technical assistance to enhance funding and financing strategies
  • Institutional arrangements, effective governance models, and operating procedures for ensuring proper management and delivery of funds
Digital Transformation
  • Business process mapping
  • Alignment of systems to optimize delivery of organizational objectives
  • Digital products and services to support organizational effectiveness
  • Design and implementation of advanced data analytics systems

Projects

Aerial photo of the coast of a Caribbean island
Caribbean Regional Coastal Integrated Information Management System

Pilot Program for Climate Resilience at the University of West Indies, Mona

Male veteran on a phone at a work desk with an American flag in the background.
Using Lean Six Sigma to Improve Support for U.S. Veterans

U.S. Department of Labor

Woman facilitating a meeting, with a whiteboard in the background
Stakeholder Facilitation for California’s Wildlife Action Plan

California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Coastal Quest

African child in a rural African setting, holding a bagged plant ready for planting.
Partnership Strategy for a Sustainable African Forestry Fund

Global Environment Fund

Drenched walkway with palm trees with fronds blown sideways by wind at a Gulf Coast beachside area during a substantial storm.
Evaluating NOAA’s Coastal Storms Program in the Gulf of Mexico

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Two men standing side by side over an office table carefully examine the contents of a document open on the table.
FDA Data Analysis and Search Host (DASH)

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Aerial view of rocky California coastline
Enhancing Management of California’s Marine Protected Area Network

California Department of Fish and Wildlife, California Ocean Protection Council, Coastal Quest, Resources Legacy Fund

View from the rear of a seated group in a large room where a presentation with slides is being delivered by a speaker at a podium.
Support for Organizational Climate Survey

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Commercial fishing boats moored in an Alaskan harbor
Ocean Conservation Strategic Funding Initiatives: A Study of Successes and Lessons Learned

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Miner drilling into rock face in a mine.
Using Lean Six Sigma to Protect Miner Health and Safety

U.S. Department of Labor

Close-up showing the hands of a person inspecting a netted ocean fish catch
Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Marine Conservation Program in Belize

The Wildlife Conservation Society

Aerial view of four freight trucks on a highway and off-ramp
Strategic Plan to Guide the SmartWay Transport Partnership

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Aerial view of a lagoon in the Caribbean Sea
Sustainable Financing and Operations to Conserve Caribbean Marine and Coastal Environments

Anonymous International Nonprofit Organization, Coastal Quest, Henry Foundation, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

Close-up of FDA-regulated medication pills on a mirror
Assessing the Effectiveness of an Innovative FDA Drug Review Program

U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Small group wading in and examining shallow coastal water with ring nets
Strategic Business Plan and Revenue Model for a New Marine Sciences Initiative

University of California, Davis, Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute and Bodega Marine Laboratory

Aerial view of houses, shoreline, and ocean along the U.S. coast.
Evaluating the NOAA Coastal Services Center’s Stakeholder Services

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

View from a path in Lands End park in San Francisco, looking over coastal water with the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance
Evaluating the Effectiveness of a Regional Conservation Program

Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation


Service Area Leads

Photo of Jan Connery

I feel profoundly fortunate to have been with ERG throughout our journey from a handful of employees in 1984 to several hundred today. I couldn’t be more proud of the work we’ve done these past 30+ years or more inspired to work every day with such great colleagues and clients. My work is just as fulfilling and vibrant to me now as the day I started.

Jan Connery

Linda Diamond

My greatest professional satisfaction has been working with tremendously dedicated colleagues and clients to design, develop, and implement technology solutions for some of our most pressing  environmental, health, and safety challenges. 

Linda Diamond

Jennifer Lam

The most rewarding part of my work is being able to help our clients and communities from behind the scenes, reflect on their impact, and find ways to become more effective and accessible in improving community conditions for all.

Jennifer Lam

Lindy Lowe

My favorite problems are the difficult ones—those sticky, multi-jurisdictional, multi-sector problems that require us to find new partners, develop new frameworks for working together, and be brave, humble, and kind. I love building frameworks that enable the person with the least amount of power and the person with the most amount of power to share their perspectives and contribute to solutions. Whatever the issue, my goals are to develop transparent, equitable, and effective solutions and to have fun along the way!

Lindy Lowe

Lou Nadeau

Agencies tend to manage what can be readily measured, but with a large toolbox of analytical and data collection techniques and some creativity, so much more is possible! I am proud and inspired to apply my program evaluation and economic valuation expertise to help agencies manage better—by providing them with valid, reliable data to enhance decision-making and by effectively communicating this information to my clients, their stakeholders, and upper management. 

Lou Nadeau

Valerie Overton

In today’s world, pioneering innovative solutions requires collaboration between subject experts, information technologists, and communicators. I’m proud to be part of an organization that is built around that concept and has empowered me to propose forward-looking ideas and develop cutting-edge solutions to meet our clients’ present and future needs.

Valerie Overton

Diana Pietri

Designing equitable solutions for sustainable environmental conservation and management efforts is a constantly challenging, rewarding endeavor. I love collaborating closely with our clients to develop strategies that promote environmental and climate sustainability and justice—including evaluating environmental program effectiveness and identifying innovative best practices for coastal and ocean planning.

Diana Pietri

Ian Todreas

Words are powerful. I learned this firsthand when, two decades ago, I picked up a magazine and found an article on climate change. I read it and everything changed. I am grateful to be at ERG, where I get to work on two things I care about deeply: clear, powerful communications and the environment.

Ian Todreas