Tag Archives: globalgiving

Designs on Systematic Listening

In my last blog post I introduced five testable hypotheses that apply to many designs for helping people. Some examples of those were: Cash control group: Instead of the program, give them the equivalent cash it would cost.   Decision control group: Let the people decide what intervention they want to join, and compare to […]

Listen, act, and demonstrated learning for organizations

In 2014 GlobalGiving made significant upgrades to their tools and training. Most of these improvements came directly out of the feedback organizations gave in their annual survey. They added web analytics: They measured every organization’s behavior and put it on a dashboard to give personalized feedback on their performance:   And for the first time, […]

Storytelling to understand the needs of ebola victims and war victims

When you think of storytelling, I’m guessing that your first thoughts are more about the emotional potency of stories to enrich our lives and expand our awareness, and less about about rigor. But over the years GlobalGiving has developed an approach to storytelling that allows organizations to map much more of the complexity of any […]

How to conduct a storytelling evaluation (Part 1 of 2: analyze stories)

Introduction If you work at an organization and have done an evaluation before, you probably followed these steps: Define the problem Design the survey Collect data Analyze data Form a conclusion Change project direction, apply for new funding, etc. Our process has pretty much the same steps, only in the opposite order: Analyze existing data […]

Turning victims of fraud into agents of change

Four weeks ago I attended a stunning talk from Jean Ensminger hosted by the Center for Global Development. She presented her findings about a vast network of corruption within the Arid Lands project of northern Kenya. One of her approaches was to compare sets of numbers in documents to a Benford’s distribution. It works because […]

Could microprojects make aid work better?

Yesterday Microsoft launched GiveForYouth.org, an online fundraising platform like GlobalGiving (and powered by GlobalGiving, in fact). But what makes GiveForYouth unique is that it is designed entirely around microprojects: What is a microproject? A microproject is a one-time fundraising effort to help achieve a specific activity or outcome. microprojects can either benefit specific people or […]

New Tool: Instant quantitative assessment of qualitative data

I’ve been keeping my nose to the grindstone and my shoulder to the wheel building a search engine that will give you instant perspective on the quality of the stories fetched. Here are some examples of how it defines “quality of a narrative” in the context of would these stories be useful for evaluation purposes? (1) […]

Using Trello for project management

I enjoy using Trello so much, I wrote a whole book on it! Now available in the Kindle Store. An abbreviated version of this ebook is below. I’ve been using a free organization tool called Trello to manage my projects for many years now. I think it is an amazing, easy to use tool that every non-profit organization should […]

Visual aid for the story-based program evaluation method

One of the questions I get asked most about the GlobalGiving storytelling project is how will we use this to do program-level evaluations for ourselves and our partner organizations? For two years we’ve tried a lot of tools for doing this. Here is one more that I built, and I think it has promise. These illustrations […]

Is international development complex? (meta analysis of 40,000 community stories)

[Part 1] [Part 2: Strong patterns] [Part 3: Scribes’ feedback] Nearly 3 years ago, Nancy McPherson (director of evaluations for the Rockefeller Foundation) and Irene Guijt started a conversation with GlobalGiving that presumed many international development efforts are inherently complex. This means that few social, economic, or health problems can be solved by simply supplying the […]


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