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 emerges as a practice distinct from traditional M&E.
It was great to see the strong agreement around recommended good practices between our Constituent Voice methodology (Fig 1.) and these experiments (Fig 2.).
Links to the two main presentations at the learning event are here and here.
Case studies from each of the pilots can be accessed here.
An informative and well-executed short video introduction can be viewed on YouTube or on the BFM pilot website.
For those who want to be part of regular practitioner exchanges on Constituent Voice, there are three different groups that continue to take up these themes.
Virtually: Linked-in – Following the success of the learning event, World Vision invites you to a new Linked-in Group called ‘Feedback Mechanisms in Aid and Development’ – https://www.linkedin.com/groups/7053295.
In London: Bond Beneficiary Feedback Learning Group – The Beneficiary Feedback Learning Group serves as a platform for discussion and for sharing experience of gathering, analysing, and responding to feedback from community members. One may contact co-chairs Isabella Jean – ijean(at)cdacollaborative.org, David Jones – djones(at)bond.org.uk and Carla Benham – carla.benham(at)worldvision.org.uk.
Feedback Labs – Keystone hosts collaborative brainstorm sessions every 6 to 8 weeks to help an organization wrestle with a challenge related to feedback loops. World Vision will be presenting on this set of experiments at the next meeting on May 10, 2016. Please contact Ilva Letoja to learn more – ilva(at)keystoneaccountability.org.
One story from the learning event struck me forcibly. The photo on the left depicts a “success” from the project. The arrow points to a shelter built for waiting mothers at a rural antenatal clinic in Ethiopia. Feedback surveys revealed that patients were failing to attend the clinic to avoid waiting in the broiling sun. It is terrific that the health post responded to the surveys and created the shelters. Absolutely. But it begs the question why a survey was needed for this in the first place. Why does it require a survey to do something so obvious? What does one say about a health system that does not afford the authority to those it employs to exercise the basic humanity that they would have mastered in their homes by age six? I hope that this particular beneficiary feedback mechanism occasioned some reflections along those lines. For sure, I expect there were some jokes among the staff about it!