Most members and supporters of Feedback Labs instinctively believe that feedback is the “right” thing to do in aid and philanthropy: after all, shouldn’t we listen to the people we seek to serve?

In May 2016, we made a first attempt to explore whether, and under what conditions, feedback is the “smart” thing to do – whether it improves outcomes in a way that is measurable. Click here for highlights of the “smart thing” evidence.

Feedback Labs released a draft paper interrogating the concept of feedback as the “smart thing” to do in aid, development, and philanthropy. The draft paper sought feedback from practitioners and experts and was followed by the Smart Summit – a convening to begin addressing how to bring about improvements in these fields. We incorporated the comments and feedback received and published the full paper, Is Feedback Smart.


The author, Elina Sarkisova, would like to thank Renee Ho and Sarah Hennessy for their helpful input and direction over the course of writing the paper.

Financial support for the work of Feedback Labs has been provided by: Fund for Shared Insight, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, Rita Allen Foundation, The World Bank, USAID.

Founding Members of Feedback Labs: Development Gateway, GlobalGiving, Keystone Accountability, Twaweza, Ushahidi, Center for Global Development, Ashoka, FrontlineSMS, GroundTruth.

Collaborating Members: LIFT, How Matters, Great Nonprofits, CDA, Integrity Action, Results for Development, Charity Navigator, Accountability Lab, Giving Evidence, Global Integrity, Reboot, Voto Mobile, Internews, ICSO.

Disclaimer: This paper does not represent the official views of any referenced organization