It’s Official, Folks: We Have a New Name!
Sure, the change ain’t radical: we’re now the “Aspen Planning and Evaluation Program.” But as our work with clients has expanded over the years, from strictly assessing policy advocacy initiatives to evaluating broader (and harder-to-pin-down) social change efforts, we decided it was time for a name change. Check out all those purdy colors in our new logo. We’re still passionate about advocacy and will continue to write about it weekly; it’s just that now we’ll also add in some other stuff…like selling impact reports on Craig’s List. Now that’s expanding our horizons.
Data and Transparency
Americans are notorious for overestimating the amount the U.S. government allocates to foreign aid. And by “overestimate,” we mean “crazy disparity between our reality and fantasy land.” Groups like CARE, ONE and others are actively trying to correct this misperception and urging policymakers to at least maintain the current foreign aid budget. USAID is also doing its part to educate the public. The Agency’s new online database—foreignassistance.gov—aims to show taxpayers where their money is going and for what purpose. Let’s hope it’s disseminated widely.
A Constellation of Memories
On the eve of India and Pakistan’s Independence Day, The New York Times’ Somini Sengupta wrote about the 1947 Partition Archive, an ambitious oral history project working to document the stories of all kinds of people affected by the 1947 partition of British India. The Archive may only be two-years old, but it has already collected over 600 stories across seven countries. Its mission statement describes the Archive’s goal as “bringing knowledge of Partition into widespread public consciousness.” If we had a moment with the Archive folks to chat about recording memories, desired impact and evaluation, we’d ask what this new consciousness looks like to them. What question would you ask?