Nadeem MazenMarch 23, 2017 America’s cities juggle duties in all directions, all at once. In Cambridge, our Department of Public Works Chief braves 4am snowstorm responses in-person, visits individual trees throughout spring, and manages multi-million dollar roadway projects all year long. Our Community Development Department balances zoning and special permit analysis on one hand while juggling…
On February 28th, Feedback Labs debuted our first DataStorm! DataStorms, a new stream of our popular LabStorms, are collaborative brainstorming sessions designed to inspire open dialogue around collecting, analyzing, storing, and exchanging feedback data. Facilitators relate lessons and challenges that feedback data may bring in return for thoughtful ideas, suggestions, and informal peer-review from our community.
After serving as a Peace Corps teacher in Malawi, I started Village X Org to answer three nagging questions about people living in poverty: What do they want? Why do they want it? What impacts flow from empowering them directly? It seemed counterintuitive that the poorest people on the planet lacked ownership over their development aspirations. It still does.
Analysis, the third step of the feedback loop, is typically seen as a rather tech-heavy endeavor, especially if you have collected a lot of feedback data.
GlobalGiving, the first and largest global crowdfunding site, has been shifting the power in the philanthropic community since its inception 15 years ago. Annually, GlobalGiving delivers 40 million dollars to over 3,000 nonprofits across 165 countries, and now they’re going further. They brought to a recent LabStorm a pilot program that seeks to bring the organizations and people they serve more directly into the grantmaking process.
Mapbox Cities works with communities around the globe to encourage data-driven analysis, improve efficiency, and instill resilience. But smart cities don’t exist without engaged citizens. Establishing a constant stream of feedback from citizens, often with the help of digital tools, is key to making cities more efficient and resilient. Even in a technology driven project, feedback loops bring the human factor into the equation.
Ground Truth Solutions wants affected people’s voices to measure the success of humanitarian programmes. We systematically collect perceptual data that can be translated into actionable recommendations and contribute to programme adjustments. Through collaboration, guidance, and capacity development, Ground Truth acts as a disruptor within the humanitarian sector to center the voices of those we ultimately serve.
Coming from the world of technology to work in international development, I had to discard some habits and practices, but kept a few with me.
It cannot be disputed any longer: citizens’ participation in governance is vitally important. Integrating citizen voice into decision-making practices has established a feedback framework between citizens and development practitioners.
In our first blog of 2017, we shared our Feedback Resolutions with you. It was a fun and useful exercise, a way of sharing a little bit of our personalities on the blog and a chance for each of us to reflect on what it takes to keep improving our personal feedback practices. And it was heartening to see others in our network take up the idea, sharing their own commitments to feedback in the new year.