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Both funders and nonprofits are placing a premium on the promise of measurement and evaluation to accelerate social change. But tools like shared measurement, big data, and developmental evaluation are only powerful if they’re applied correctly. In this panel discussion, experts address how the social sector must ask the right questions when developing metrics. Alicia Grunow discusses the Carnegie Foundation’s use of improvement science to make strides in education. Hewlett Foundation representative Fay Twersky implores nonprofits to systematically solicit feedback from intended beneficiaries. Policy researcher Liesbeth Schorr underscores how the search for “certainty” stifles innovation. Presented in partnership with FSG, this panel discussion was part of the Next Generation Evaluation conference. FSG is a nonprofit consulting firm specializing in strategy, evaluation, and research.
The true power of data comes from conveying the “so what” behind the numbers, inspiring people to probe new questions, and using it for rigorous statistical inquiry.