May 11, 2016

Blog

When Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World was first published it was considered pretty controversial. Years later the shock had subsided and it was no longer seen as contentious as it had been in 1932. In a recent blog, Brad Smith of the Foundation Centre talks about the Brave New World
When I was working for a large NGO, I spent part of my time trying to make the organization more accountable to local partners and beneficiaries. My task was to understand how well our accountability practices were working and to explore how to improve them. Many interesting things came out
When you look at a list of Keystone clients, you might well ask yourself, “What can these organizations possibly have in common?” They range from the world’s largest commercial carpet manufacturer to the President’s Office in South Africa. Our clients are tackling poverty, reducing environmental impact, enhancing smallholder agriculture, battling
In a recent blog, Patricia Dorsher comments that “It is a particular feature of aid that people on the ground are often not involved in activities affecting their communities”. Patricia makes the case for not only shifting resources to those with greater need, but also shifting other sources of power,
For anybody interested in feedback, technology offers huge potential; the potential to reach communities, the potential to do so affordably, and the potential to access such feedback in real time. At Keystone we view these three elements as key to effective listening. Aleem Walji, director of the World Bank’s Innovation Labs
 Every sector has its misconceptions: stereotypical ideas about how the sector works, its values and how people both within and outside the sector perceive it. In this blog I present five ‘fun facts’ that come out of feedback data we collect at Keystone. They are yet another illustration of why,
Nonprofits are preparing to meet the new Charity Navigator Ratings system. Charity Navigator evaluate whether charities have healthy finances and policies in areas like conflict of interest and donor privacy. But soon all of the nonprofits that Charity Navigator rates, will have to do more than that to get good
Having provided the reasoning and rationale behind gathering feedback about our relationships with our partners and intermediary organizations, Kai discusses Keystone’s Performance Surveys, which benchmark principal-agent type relationships for international NGOs, impact investors, grantmakers and social change networks. In doing so,  he focuses on the practical side of this kind of feedback, exploring
Dennis Whittle has published an important piece on the signficance of feedback loops. His discussion of how feedback loops can subvert the prevailing mental model (top-down; expert-driven) and the limitations of RCTs is particularly relevant. A must read for all those seeking to make development organizations more responsive and adaptive.
Bridgespan’s new report provides an excellent overview of and framework for thinking about constituent engagement. It provides an excellent complement to Dennis Whittle’s recent paper on feedback mechanisms and the earlier Twersky and Threlfall SSIR article. The field of Constituent Voice is building its own literature!