Constituent Voice is a “slow idea”

I’m a slow learner. Over a decade into this work, it hit me that Constituent Voice is what New Yorker writer Atul Guwande dubbed a “slow idea”. In Guwande’s New Yorker article comparison of the historical uptake of anesthesia and antiseptics, he asks, why did one take off rapidly while[…]

Can social labs save development?

Foreign aid in Malawi is as much as 50% of the national budget. This startling fact poses a paradox that haunts Malawi and all aid dependent countries. On the one hand, aid is desperately needed to finance essential services like health, education, and agriculture development. On the other hand, foreign[…]

Coming through denial

This month’s annual Feedback Summit in Washington DC has been chronicled by journalist Marc Gunther as the moment where we recognized that we have arrived, and asked first order questions.  In my blog post last week I said that I thought we had, collectively, set our intention for fundamental transformation[…]

Moment of choice

Last week’s Feedback Summit was, for me at least, a watershed event. It was the third time our emerging field had come together at an annual gathering. Despite the inevitable consternation that accompanies wide-ranging diversity of expectations, experience and perspectives, I believe that we made two leaps forward over two[…]

Democracy is alive

Last month I attended a very British event at the London School of Economics. A hundred or so of us gathered in the Shaw Library, named after George Bernard Shaw, one of the founders of LSE. We were invited there by the Webb Memorial Trust, a charity dedicated to advance[…]

A spy in the house of love

Keystone’s Chief Executive David Bonbright delivered the talk below at IMPCON 2016 in Atlanta. Despite the striking resemblance, this is not an engraving of Jeremy Nicholls. It is William Blake’s depiction of Isaac Newton. Staying with this theme of artistic perspectives on measurement, I have borrowed from the writer Anais[…]

From the field – 7 cases and a cautionary tale

Since 2013 World Vision has been running seven DFID-funded “beneficiary feedback mechanism” experiments in health programmes in India and Africa with local partners. Earlier this month World Vision convened a highly informative day-long learning event in London where about 50 practitioners from across the globe discussed the experiments, aided by[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]