Impact: So What? Measuring and Learning around Accountability

The Accountability Lab and Feedback Labs recently co-hosted an event at the OpenGov Hub in Washington, DC entitled “Impact: So What?” The idea was to generate an honest conversation around how we are measuring impact in the accountability and transparency space and what we can collectively learn from this process to help us improve. Preceded by a Twitter chat (#impactchat) and a twin event at the OpenGov Hub Kathmandu, the discussion brought together a diverse crowd of activists, non-profits, policymakers and donors.

Using Healthcare Narrative Methods to Improve Outcomes

In healthcare, numbers matter.  They are the measures of physical condition – blood pressure, temperature, height and weight – in a patient profile. They govern the amount of time a provider spends with each patient daily in order to elicit the information needed for assessments and diagnoses.
Increasingly, research shows that a vital aspect of that information is the patient context: the environments, values, relationships and experiences that shape who patients are and how they live. This context directly impacts health, and shapes the challenges patients face in striving to be well; communicating about life outside the four walls of healthcare is thus integral to healthcare that addresses patients’ individual needs.

Feedback Labs Releases Feedback Quiz and Toolkit

The Toolkit helps organizations improve the way they listen to their constituents to be more responsive to the people they are trying to serve – and ultimately to improve outcomes. Development of the Toolkit was led by founding Labs member Ashoka Changemakers in collaboration with other founding members including Keystone Accountability, Development Gateway, and GlobalGiving. Platform was developed by District Design Group, and strategic advice and funding were provided by the Rita Allen Foundation.

OPIC and Liberia: Citizen Feedback to Protect Human Rights in Emerging Market Projects

Increasing visibility and awareness of international principles of human rights is creating new opportunities and challenges for channels of citizen feedback. The roles and responsibilities that governments and businesses have with respect to human rights are becoming increasingly recognized internationally. The UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (so-called “Ruggie Principles”) include operational principles around three pillars –the State duty to protect, the corporate responsibility to respect, and access to remedy.  Businesses are increasingly recognizing that there are financial risks associated with conflicts around human rights issues.

Enabling donors to make better decisions: meta-research to the rescue!

Charities produce masses of evidence about their effectiveness but we suspect that much of that research is missing, ropey, unclear or you can’t find it. It’s thought that fully 85% of all medical research is wasted in ways like this. This damages beneficiaries in two ways. First, donors and other operational charities can’t reliably get feedback on whether a particular type of work is effective, so may avoidably implement or fund something suboptimal. And second, the research consumes resources which could perhaps be better spent delivering something which does work.

Feedback Labs selected as Fund for Shared Insight grantee

I’m thrilled to announce that Feedback Labs was selected as one of 14 organizations to receive a grant from the Fund for Shared Insight– in the first round of grants they awarded since launching in September.
We applied for this grant because we saw it as an opportunity to collaborate with a stellar group of funders that are coming together to effect a quantum leap in the way the philanthropy sector listens to and co-creates with those whose lives it aims to improve. As we put together our proposal, I was most excited about the idea that we really do have an historic opportunity to improve the effectiveness and impact of our work.

Closing the Citizen Feedback Loop

These are the three questions that should be at the center of any funder’s strategy and operations. Yet they are far from the radar screen of many funders and implementing organizations, both domestic and international. Feedback Labs, with founding members Keystone Accountability, GlobalGiving, Development Gateway, Ashoka, Frontline SMS, Twaweza,Ushahidi, and GroundTruth, are committed to helping funders find out and act on the answers to these questions.

TOMORROW: DC-based FBL event!

Feedback Labs and InterAction will co-host a launch event to introduce a recently released resource on effective feedback loops in humanitarian settings to organizations in Washington DC. The guidance document will be of particular interest to practitioners focused on improving participatory monitoring, feedback and accountability systems within aid organizations.