May 11, 2016

Blog

Keystone Accountability has found that data often falls into one of two categories; either it tells you something you had no idea about, or it confirms what you already suspected.Read More
Surveys are a double-edged sword. It is useful, irresistibly so, to be able to assert something that is supported by survey results. Most of us are enthralled by this sirens’ call – I certainly am! But at the same time, surveys are riddled with two kinds of distortions. These have various technical names but boil down to two simple things – accuracy and representativeness. First, in surveys we tend not to give “honest” responses. ItRead More
I have a confession to make. Despite two years of surveying thousands of respondents for our clients I still fire up Google in the hopes that it will one day tell me how to conduct surveys the right way. Now, this is mainly due to being overly ambitious: I would one day love to see a 100 percent response rate or a completely full raw dataset. In the meantime though, I’ll settle for actionable insightsRead More
We would all like our work to speak for itself, better still if someone else can vouch for us! One way that industries like to do this is to showcase their ratings and feedback from customers. Not only does this help improve their service, but also help build credibility and trust. In the development context, this has taken more centre-stage. Findings from a UKAID funded pilot programme in seven locations around the world, demonstrated theRead More
No longer can anyone use the excuse that it’s “too hard” or “too expensive” to refrain from collecting the kind of feedback that you will actually use to improve performance. We built the Feedback Commons to provide a platform that any organization could use to collect, analyze, and respond to feedback from the people they work with at low cost, and with minimal effort. It’s free and simple. Anyone can design a survey – using questionsRead More
Nonprofit organizations and foundations love to talk about “partnering”, “co-creating”, leverage”, and “synergy” – but do these hook-ups really yield as much value for the effort involved? Or is it just beneficial to be seen collaborating? I searched for reports on what value non-profit professionals typically get out of collaborations, but sadly, there doesn’t seem to be much research on this. One exception is Keystone’s own Partnership Survey. We measure this along dimensions of theRead More
Keystone Accountability believes that as well as harnessing feedback from the people you serve, internal feedback is essential in high-performing organizations. Here are some questions to ask yourself, to see whether you could use some support in creating a team that can ultimately be a high-performing learning organization. Is your team comfortable talking about problems and disagreeing? Do they welcome differences of opinion? Do you have a process for acknowledging them at some points and addressingRead More
– Showing up for Democracy’s Sake – Recently, US Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina cast the deciding vote* confirming Betsy Davos for Secretary of Education. I could not help but notice that Tillis ran unopposed for most of his political career. According to Wikipedia: “Tillis ran for the General Assembly in 2006. He defeated incumbent John W. Rhodes in the Republican primary, and went on to win the election, since no other candidate hadRead More
We believe that well-run organizations are also learning organizations. How do you know if you’re a learning organization? Take a diagnostic test. Answer some questions about the way your team works, and it will tell you what features your team shares with learning organizations, and what you need to work on. Here is one from the Harvard Business Review to get you started. Learning is about improving performance, not proving impact. A well-run organization thinksRead More
Musika is a non-profit organization working with private sector companies that serve the rural poor in Zambia. It provides technical advice, business model support and subsidies to its clients to reduce the initial risks of doing business with smallholder farmers. Keystone Accountability worked with Musika to help it better understand its market and customers, increase client loyalty and promote a client-driven culture. It wanted to find out how clients view the business opportunity presented byRead More