Funders and feedback; putting their money where their mouth is

Last summer, the Blagrave Trust with support from Keystone Accountability set out to learn more about what youth-oriented charities do to listen and respond to the young people they help. Keystone spent time with key staff from eight Blagrave partners to understand and document their youth feedback related practices. Among the eight partners, there was a growing recognition of the importance and value of listening, and as a result feedback was becoming a higher priority[…]

Who should measure the impact of non-profits? Responses to Caroline Fiennes and Ken Berger

This article was originally published on Alliance Magazine’s website on March 22, 2016. The non-profit impact revolution has taken a wrong turn. The job of examining their impact should be done by independent specialists rather than non-profits themselves: this is what Caroline Fiennes and Ken Berger argue in the March 2016 issue of Alliance magazine. As self-styled ‘veterans and cheerleaders’ of that revolution, their article constitutes both a change of direction and a major mea culpa.[…]

Press Release: Keystone Accountability Awarded $600,000 Grant to Continue Efforts to Advance the Practice of Feedback Loops

For Immediate Release January 27, 2016 Contact: Ilva Letoja +44 20 3735 6367 ilva(at)keystoneaccountability.org Keystone Accountability Awarded $600,000 Grant to Continue Efforts to Advance the Practice of Feedback Loops Fund for Shared Insight to provide additional support for five previously funded projects and one new research grant in 2016 London, UK— Fund for Shared Insight selected Keystone Accountability to receive additional funding to continue their efforts to improve philanthropy. Keystone Accountability was one of 14[…]

David Bonbright interviewed by Denver Fredrick on the Business of Giving

Hear our chief executive, David Bonbright, in conversation with Business of Giving host Denver Frederick in a new podcast from the radio interview that aired on Sunday evening, 24 January. Denver was very well prepared and we think the result is a breezy, informative “state of the field”. Please let us know what you think! Update, January 28: Denver Fredrick has shared the interview transcript with us, also available on his blog: The following is[…]

How to make aid workers champions of accountability

When we launched Ground Truth in 2012, we thought tracking the perceptions of the intended beneficiaries of aid – accurately and frequently – would prompt more responsive humanitarian programmes. That still sounds reasonable, and our experience over the past three years has gone a long way towards validating the hypothesis. But it also underlines the challenge of going the last mile – of motivating staff to act on feedback from people whose insight could help[…]

Unpacking the drivers of accountability

This blog was originally posted on the Ground Truth Solutions website.   With the growing focus on effectiveness and accountability in humanitarian operations, expectations for feedback mechanisms are unrealistically high. Contemporary wisdom demands that they both provide insight on the perceptions of people affected by humanitarian disasters and create the impetus for follow-up action. That’s a lot to ask in a field where power relations remain heavily skewed towards aid providers. In reality, giving affected[…]

Three Ways To Keep Your Clients Front And Center

Imagine if your funders treated you like a loyal customer that they could not afford to lose. One social investor, Root Capital, does just that. First published on Forbes on October 29, 2015, here’s a terrific piece spilling the beans on how. It’s conference season and the panels have been pulsating at events like the Clinton Global Initiative, SOCAP and the annual meeting of the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs—all of which took place within a few[…]

Imperfect data – perfectly useful

Having seen a recent and rather controversial weight-loss advert here in the UK, I decided, along with the majority of others I suspect, that I was not ‘beach body ready’. I didn’t really need the advert to draw the conclusion, but none the less I decided I needed to do something about it. More specifically, I decided to do more exercise and to find out once and for all if I too had a rippling[…]

Dealing with evaluation frustration…

This summer I had the privilege of attending a Wilton Park conference on “New frontiers for evaluation in an era of market-driven development”. The conference theme was a response to the realization that the evaluation field is failing to meet the needs of the growing arena of social enterprise and impact investing. Coming from the development world, I have to confess that we’ve been having these conversations for a long time now, albeit leading to[…]

This Time It’s Personal

As organizations start to get serious about feedback, things inevitably come to the moment where feedback gets personal. To be really useful, feedback must touch on an individual’s performance. This is tough stuff. People resist feedback in many different ways. A growing part of Keystone Accountability’s Constituent Voice work with organizations is to help staff recognize auto-immune-type resistance, and overcome it. For a great book on this I strongly recommend Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone’s[…]