Around the Institute

Metrics and Innovation

November 15, 2013

Upcoming Advocacy Evaluation Breakfast

Our next Advocacy Evaluation breakfast, “Listen Up! Evaluating International Aid Efforts by Listening to Aid Recipients,” will take place on Thursday, November 21st at the usual time (8:15am). Dayna Brown, Director of The Listening Project at CDA and co-author of Time To Listen: Hearing People on the Receiving End of International Aid, will join us to discuss the evaluative potential of CDA’s approach to gathering community perspectives. This is sure to be a fascinating breakfast so RSVP here by Monday! 

Reverse Couch Potato Effect?

A new study found that people living in 64 villages in rural Ethiopia had higher aspirations, expectations and saved more money after watching a documentary film compared to those who were only exposed to a soap opera. Can it be that the right films and the right television shows can actually get people to get up from their couches and be active? There are other studies that point to this as well but the question remains how do you find the “right” films and tv shows? Are there certain styles, types of shows or messages that work best?

Using Metrics to Innovate—Not Stagnate!

The Stanford Social Innovation Review has a blog post out about using metrics to drive innovation, as opposed to proving to the funder that the grantee did what it was supposed to do. A learning partnership between all parties (evaluators, funders and grantees, and others) insures that the evaluation is not a game of “gotcha!” and that the grantee can actually use metrics within from the evaluation to make organizational decisions that are smart and innovative. Want to try out a new intervention? Go for it—but measure and evaluate along the way to see if it’s working and adjust as needed!