Surveys: You’re doing it wrong

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 insights[…]

Do you work for a learning organization?

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 thinks[…]

Why you should talk to everybody: lessons from 2016 US election

Keystone Accountability believes that when everybody has a voice, and the leadership pays attention to what people are saying, this is the best possible form of management. 2016 has been the year of surprising referendum results. In June, 52% of UK citizens voted to leave the EU. This was followed the next day by an unprecedented number of google searches for “what is the EU“. And in November, Donald Trump narrowly beat Hillary Clinton by[…]

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 high quality documentation in video, written and slide presentation forms. This is exactly the kind of feedback practice literature that we need as Constituent Voice[…]

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[…]

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[…]

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[…]

Setting the agenda for development – who has the power?

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, such as agenda setting; “Agenda setting is one of the most potent tools for those with limited traditional resources. The ability for citizens to voice[…]