Around the Institute

Evaluation Insights from the Village Blues

July 3, 2013

Be Sure to Register for Next Week’s Breakfast Chat on “Assessing Advocacy

Redstone Strategy Group’s Nathan Huttner is coming all the way from the great state of Colorado on July 9th to talk about a new quantitative assessment tool he helped develop for the Hewlett Foundation and others that was featured in a recent piece in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Our neighborhood’s chief of all things evaluative and innovative, Julia Coffman, will offer a brief response. For those who can’t join the conversation live and in person, there’s also a call-in option. You can find all that good info (and more!) in our RSVP form here.

Village Blues?

Foreign Policy published a thought-provoking article last week about the controversy surrounding Jeffrey Sachs’s “Millennium Villages”—and the lack of proper “control villages” against which to compare the advances he attributes to his approach. Essentially, we’re left wondering: how do we know his model actually works? Paul Starobin notes the increasing emphasis on rigorous evaluation design for development projects to answer precisely this question. Yep, point taken. The other lesson, however, is to avoid making exaggerated claims about the impact of any specific intervention…no matter how tempting that may be.

…Yes, it’s a Wednesday

And you may be used to getting your APEP fix on a Friday morning. But tomorrow is July 4th and many of you are taking a long holiday weekend to forget about work, vacation with family and friends, stand in front of an AC unit for long periods of time, or simply escape Uncle Sam’s prodigious curiosity (and big ears). All that to say—happy 4th, folks, and look for us next Friday as usual!