Does greater accountability mean greater resilience? Findings from our research so far.

This is a guest post by Kingsley Orievulu and Jack Cornforth of Civicus (our partners in the Resilient Roots initiative) When ActionAid Uganda faced attacks from the government for their work, including freezing the organisation’s bank account, unrelenting support from local partners and credible local leadership ensured massive popular support during the ensuing legal battle (and[…]

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 the other languished? “First, one[…]

Deeper into the social lab – ‘What if we tried to…’

In yesterday’s blog we asked a bold question, ‘Can social labs save development?’ Day two brought us deep into social lab process. The morning began with reflections on the insights of yesterday. Participants spoke with emotion about seeing the broken relationships systematically mapped from the perspective of each constituent group. And how important it is[…]

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 aid has significant unintended negative[…]

A very bold alternative

“What is this feedback thing all about?” I‘m hearing this question more and more as the word about feedback in social change is spreading. I say that it is about transformational change, though it works incrementally. I say that it is about listening and connecting with people, that it amounts to a fundamental reorientation in[…]

Employee motivation based on feedback loops, not perks

Keeping your employees happy is essential to the success of your business. Evidence proves that happier employees translates to higher stock prices and stronger overall business performance. That said, knowing you need to keep your employees satisfied isn’t the same thing as knowing how to accomplish such goals. Do you offer free lunches? Holiday bonuses?[…]

From knowledge management to knowledge discovery

I spend a lot of time dealing with data. Data is an ingredient in an organization’s larger decision making process. Institutions say they want “knowledge management” systems. This is a way to store all the information they create in one place and make it searchable. But the knowledge solutions I’ve seen only address half the[…]

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 of how we organize to[…]

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 huge chasms. This post is[…]

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 the values of another founder[…]