Around the Institute

Informed Participation and Unreformed Pastries – So Good

March 6, 2015  • David Devlin-Foltz

It’s (sorta) the Media, Stupid

Thanks to all who joined us for a great panel discussion and high-carb breakfast on how to measure changes in public opinion and citizen engagement – and the impact of media on each. The Democracy Fund’s Tom Glaisyer discussed how the Fund is thinking through the use of metrics in its grantmaking around media and informed participation. The Gates Foundation’s Tom Black described lessons learned through the foundation’s research on citizen views of global poverty (and how hard it can be to change those views!). And APEP’s Susanna Dilliplane presented some surprising findings from her research on how partisan media do – or do not – influence American voters (hint: click through her slides in full screen to see the dancing elephants). Stay tuned for our next breakfast!


Is that yours?

Development assistance organizations have spent ten years or so wrestling with the notion of “country ownership”; that is, that governments and indeed citizens in developing countries should control every stage of project design. In a new paper from InterAction, Carlisle Levine and Laia Grino argue that ownership should extend to evaluation as well.


Ask a Stupid Question.  Really.

On our good days at APEP we are smart enough to acknowledge how little we know. Take for instance our longtime collaboration with CARE on assessing degrees of policymaker support for an advocacy objective. We have acknowledged from the beginning that “we don’t know what we don’t know” about influences on policymaker choices.  It’s even smarter, argues Leslie Goodyear, to allow yourself to ask “stupid questions.” You never know what you might learn.