August 6, 2009


“I have found that those who enjoy the most power and influence – even with the best of intentions – tend to over-rely on their own counsel. We see in most anti-poverty programmes, for example, a lack of accountability by donors and NGOs to the people who are meant to benefit from the programmes.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation is partnering with Keystone to create effective ways for people to hold donors, NGOs, and governments to account for that which is undertaken in their name.
We invite you to join us in supporting this important endeavor.”

(Nelson Mandela – Nelson Mandela Foundation)

Our partnership with Keystone is enabling us to reimagine how we use the voices of our constituents to assess our impact, learn and accelerate our progress, and strengthen our relationships with those who share our mission. The constituent voice journey we’ve embarked upon seeks to enable us to co-create our future with those closest to the problems we are trying to solve.”

(Wendy Kopp, CEO and Co-Founder – Teach For All)

“We believe that, in unlocking the power of people to hold the agencies of development programmes to account, Keystone is building the great “missing link” in development governance.”


(John Samuel – Nelson Mandela Foundation)

The data Keystone provided was a gift. It came from over 800 partners. It pointed clearly to the fact that they did not think we engaged well with them. Having data, rather than anecdotes, helped everyone in Oxfam acknowledge that we needed to do better.” 

(Makarand Sahasrabuddhe – Oxfam International)

“Partnerships are at the core of our work at Vitamin Angels. Before the Keystone survey, we believed that we were already good partners. Now we have hard data on how our partners see us, and an evidence-based way on how we can work with them to improve performance. It is great to have this data to help inform us as we move forward in our relationships.”

(Jamie Frederick – Vitamin Angels)

“The Community Foundation for San Benito County has made great strides in our outreach, our understanding and listening to our core constituents. This had been made possible because of our past engagement with Keystone. Three years later we still use the methodology that we learned from them. This is continuing to help the foundation be relevant and engaged with our constituents.”

(Gary Byrne – Community Foundation for San Benito County)

“Keystone’s surveys have provided us with invaluable information about the quality of our partnerships in development. It is something that all development organizations should pay close attention to.”


(Bruce Lawson-McDowall – UK’s Department for International Development)

“The most useful part of Constituent Voice has been the ability to go to participants and say, ‘We care about hearing from you and we want to make a record of what you’re saying. We can’t guarantee changes will occur overnight, but we want to find ideas that are actionable and figure out ways to implement them.’ Taking time to have this conversation and to ask these questions is an intervention in and of itself, and whether we can statistically acknowledge the effect yet or not, it’s a worthwhile endeavor to at least ask and let our participants know we’re committed to hearing from them.” 

(Nathan Mandel – Center for Employment Opportunities)

My work with Keystone has transformed my thinking about the purpose and practice of feedback. I now know it is a natural, simple, and efficient way of engaging with constituents to improve individual and community outcomes. But more profoundly, thanks to Keystone, I now think elevating the voices of citizens is the primary pathway to a world that is flourishing and just.”

(Brad Dudding – Center for Employment Opportunities)

Keystone connected Blagrave Trust to a community of people who believe passionately in community accountability in its myriad forms and have helped to advance my thinking. It gave us confidence and craft to develop among other things, The Listening Fund, based on a clear analysis of what our partners need to advance their voice work and how we might help them.”

(Jo Wells – Blagrave Trust and The Listening Fund)

 “Keystone is tackling one of the central challenges of social work: to create a common system for measuring and communicating outcomes. We need this type of system to create transparency and accountability in the not-for-profit environment and to enable citizens to understand, evaluate and support social change organisations. Keystone’s commitment to creating an open content model is also important as it ensures that its methods can be freely shared–and improved–by and among everyone.”

(Mark Shuttleworth – Shuttleworth Foundation)

“Keystone gave Ground Truth Solutions its initial impetus and has equipped us with a systematic approach to understanding the way people affected by humanitarian disasters experience the aid that is supposed to meet their immediate needs. This kind of system change is inevitably slow but we are seeing the results in the form of better aid programmes that respond better to the needs of affected people across the humanitarian space.”

(Nick van Praag – Ground Truth Solutions)

“[Keystone Accountability is] doing some thoughtful work to improve how civil society organizations learn when stakeholders — of all sorts — become engaged in a process that strengthens them as they learn.”


(Leila Bisharat – UNICEF)

“Keystone’s innovation in linking deep learning and sound planning in development projects, with a reporting model that can communicate accountability and success, has the potential to change social change practice.”

(Heléne Clark –

“Keystone is directly addressing the most significant problem that NGOs (and their donors) face today: developing practical tools that both gauge the quality of field work, and encourage good practice in the field. It could revolutionise the impact NGOs generate from donors’ funds .”

(Alex Jacobs – Mango)

“We are very impressed with the work you have been doing at Keystone in the much-needed area of developing a standardized measurement, learning, and reporting model for NGOs.”

(Jill Rademacher – The Case Foundation)