Those Low Response Rates

Surveys are a double-edged sword. It is useful, irresistibly so, to be able to assert something that is supported by survey results. Most of us are enthralled by this sirens’ call – I certainly am! But at the same time, surveys are riddled with two kinds of distortions. These have various technical names but boil down to two simple things – accuracy and representativeness. First, in surveys we tend not to give “honest” responses. It[…]

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[…]

Are you really listening to the people you serve?

We believe listening to feedback from the people you serve can help improve outcomes. This feedback is an often overlooked but vital part of performance management. To make things easier for time and cash strapped organizations, Keystone Accountability has developed an online tool to help people collect and benchmark their feedback data. The Feedback Commons is designed to help organizations listen and respond to those they serve while gaining insight from others doing similar work.[…]

Taking the survey is the first step – it is what happens next that counts

Oxfam is serious about partnerships and so joined 76 other international non-governmental organisations in taking Keystone’s Partnership survey, which solicits views from partners. “The results were not particularly shocking to those of us working in programs although we hadn’t expected we would do so poorly,” said Makarand Sahasrabuddhe Program Quality Lead for Oxfam International. “The data was a gift. It came from over 800 partners. It pointed clearly to the fact that they did not[…]

WaterAid explains how they used Keystone’s partnership survey

Collaboration is a core value of international non-governmental organisation (INGO) WaterAid. The organization knows it can only achieve universal access to water and sanitation (WASH) by working with others including government bodies, civil society organisations, academic institutions, donors, other NGOs and the private sector. WaterAid wants to develop empowering and mutually accountable and respectful relationships but knows this is easier said than done, especially when channelling money to other organizations. In some cases, a focus[…]

Overcoming the Courtesy Bias in Constituent Feedback

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 of our surveys and focus groups, but two things stuck in my mind. First, it is difficult to interpret the ratings given by partners in[…]

Keystone’s Open Contracting Theory of Change Survey report available here

This report was released at the Open Contracting First Global Meeting in Johannesburg 24th-26th October. It presents the results from an online survey about a growing practice known as Open Contracting. The main purpose of the survey was to understand how familiar people are with the Open Contracting approach and how they understood its effects. The report – which comprises a narrative summary of the main findings followed by a comprehensive presentation of the findings –[…]