Using client feedback to test a theory of change

US nonprofit LIFT, which works to end intergenerational poverty, has been using client feedback to test its theory of change. LIFT works with low income families in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Washington, D.C. Parents (who LIFT call members) are paired with volunteer advocates and they work together to achieve the member’s goals. These could be finding affordable housing, decent education or building confidence and skills to manage tough times. LIFT has been using[…]

Formalizing client feedback forces action

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 by[…]

‘We didn’t know’ is no longer a valid excuse

Since the US election result there have been thousands of social media posts and opinion pieces asking “How did this happen?”. People were visibly shaken at the announcement of the next United States President-elect, Donald Trump. I admit that I was shocked too. But should I be? If I’m honest with myself, I spend most of my time trolling news and other websites that usually confirm what I already know and want to believe. The[…]

Panel Surveys

Panel surveys can be a great way to capture data which is timely and directly relevant to policy making and other important decision-making, which tells us about the current direction of travel for the non-profit sector (whether things are getting better or worse). Keystone has worked to provide regular, timely, customized, at-a-glance data on the direction of travel for the sector, most notably alongside CIVICUS in Civic Pulse. Civic Pulse aims to be a regular[…]

Constituent Voice Centered Evaluation

Keystone has extensive evaluation experience, and brings a unique approach drawing on its Constituent Voice™ methodology. Asking the right questions to the right people can help organizations clarify their theory of change, understand their impact on key constituents and provide the basis for an ongoing light-touch CV system. Recent CV system clients include: Ashoka CARE International Independent Commission for Aid Impact Gates Foundation Legal Services Corporation To find out what we can bring to your[…]

Constituent Voice Systems

A full system for systematically cultivating voice and using constituent feedback to improve the way your organisation works and the impact you have. These are bespoke systems designed with you. Constituent Voice™ has been used by many different organizations to improve the way they work. It defines both the relationships an organization holds with those around it, and also the impact of its operations. It begins as a measurement tool to understand, but quickly becomes[…]

Keystone Performance Surveys

These are standard tools that provide benchmarked performance indicators for four different types of social purpose organizations: INGOs, Social Investors, Social Change Networks and Grantmakers. Keystone performance surveys (KPS) are available for a variety of different types of organizations, but all work in the same way: staff at partner entities complete a survey about different aspects of working with you. The data is benchmarked against similar organizations to allow you to better understand where you[…]

Turning high scores into low scores, or overcoming courtesy bias

Overcoming courtesy bias – the tendency of people to tell you what they think you want to hear – is challenging. Especially in situations with a power imbalance. But for feedback data to be useful it has to be honest. One of our clients came up with various ways to overcome this courtesy bias and find ways to persuade constituents that being frank is in everyone’s best interest. The Center for Employment Opportunities (CEO) provides[…]

Guides and Resources

Our tools  put Constituent Voice and Impact Planning, Assessment and Learning (IPAL) into action.

Keystone invites you to use and adapt any of these tools in whatever ways work for you. We welcome any comments, criticisms and suggestions to make them better. Please post your comments below or contact us.