Around the Institute


April 26, 2013

Close that Loop, Please
Call us biased, but we think The Aspen Institute’s Education and Society Program is doing significant work, especially on the (still) controversial issue of teacher evaluations. In their new report, Evaluating Evaluations: Using Teacher Surveys to Strengthen Implementation, The Institute’s Ross Wiener and The Parthenon Group’s Kasia Lundy offer advice to school leaders and districts on collecting actionable information from teachers and later “closing the loop” so these teachers know that changes are in fact being made. This process aims to build trust via follow-through, thereby contributing to nurturing a culture of feedback and continuous improvement in schools. 
Advocacy Evaluation at NGOs
A tip of our hat goes to Oxfam America for leading an intensive effort to examine practices and perspectives around advocacy evaluation at nine major global NGOs. Consultants Jim Coe and Juliette Majot used electronic surveys, one-on-one interviews, and lengthy reviews of relevant documents at each organization to zero in on 15 key findings and 12 guiding principles for the effective use of monitoring, evaluation and learning systems. Check out finding #11: considering the needs of the users of evaluation results is huge in our book—and of course in this book. Plenty of food for thought and action.
Disruption Guaranteed
Earlier this year, international consulting shop InterMedia launched a disruptively interesting blog called “Disruptive Metrics.” The blog’s objective is clear from the get-go—to highlight examples where new and creative uses of technology (including, of course, social media) are changing the way we develop metrics, design evaluations and ultimately determine impact. Their latest post teases out the less significant role of gender compared to poverty level and urban/rural location in the uptake of mobile money technology in Tanzania.