Around the Institute

The Whys of the World

April 19, 2013

PEPFAR—and Effective Advocacy—Save Lives: A Breakfast Dialogue at the Aspen Institute

Our Advocacy Evaluation Breakfast Series is back next Thursday, April 25th, with Ten Years of PEPFAR: A Conversation About Evaluation, Advocacy and Grantmaking. Taking the Institute of Medicine’s Evaluation of PEPFAR as a starting point, our panelists from IOM, CHANGE, and the Moriah Fund will explore how advocacy contributed to policy changes that led to measurable improvements in the lives of people far away from Capitol Hill. Just RSVP here by the 23rd.

Images of Africa

Your APEP pals have worked for years with groups trying to re-frame views of developing countries generally, and African countries in particular, in response to the “flies in the eyes” motifs that remain all too popular because of their fund-raising effectiveness. Swedish photographer Jens Assur set out to complicate similar perceptions in his native Sweden. The ironic twist in the exhibit title reminds us of another brilliant Nordic campaign.

The What and the Why

“Big data” is the buzzword of the moment. Folks have spent countless hours trying to find ways to “harness the power” of “big data” for product development, profit maximization, customer/audience engagement…you name it. Despite all this enthusiasm, The New York Times’ David Brooks and others are highlighting some clear limitations. Our takeaway: While stats are very good at telling us what happened, they usually can’t get at the why. And that’s where our trusty qualitative tools and strategies come in.