Know Your Impact, Grow Your Impact

IPRE Group


are foundations accountable to anyone? should they be?

Rob Reich recently wrote a very compelling essay about foundations and accountability.  Not subject to market forces, or any strict transparency regulation, “foundations are often black boxes, stewarding and distributing private assets for public purposes, as defined by the donor.”  Should we, he asks, worry?  It may be not only our ethical responsibility but also […]


guest post on markets for good

check out the new guest post I contributed to the markets for good blog… and poke around the site while you’re there, they’ve got some good resources.  


advantages of mixed methods in impact evaluation

A recent paper by Paul Shaffer provides a useful summary of some of the benefits of using mixed methods* in impact evaluation.  The author describes four ways in which qualitative methods (by which he generally means talking to participants in the study and asking them what they think) add to quantitative impact analyses. As I […]


evaluation as learning or validation? some challenges

A group of political scientists (Brigham, Findley, Matthias, Petrey and Nielson) have written a new paper that has raised the alarm about whether aid or development organizations really care about or are interested in learning from the increasing body of rigorous, RCT-based impact evaluation research. After reading the study, I’m not convinced it has anything […]


more on research and design thinking

Grad students at Stanford’s Emmet Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources and the Stanford are joining forces for the Research as Design project — now in the form of a new blog. Check it out for useful thinking and resources on design thinking, innovation, and incorporating this perspective into the research process. They write: […]


impact evaluations and null results: time to rethink?

I was at the Right to Information and Transparency in the Digital Age conference at CDDRL earlier this week.  The final wrap up session “What does this all amount to? Assessing the impact of transparency”,  presented three rigorous impact evaluations conducted by political scientists.  With some interesting nuances, all three papers basically found the information […]


(design + evaluation)thinking = progress

Lots of talk these days about “design thinking” and “evaluation thinking.”  What do these concepts actually mean?  And what do they tell us about doing good monitoring and evaluation work? Taken together, design thinking and evaluation thinking point towards a process of perspective-taking* that can make any project, policy, or intervention a whole lot stronger […]


mission creep

Early in the new year I am finally finding the time to get some reading done.  So forgive the latecomer to the party… one short piece at the top of the heap is this posting from the New York Times by Tina Rosenberg, “Putting Charities to the Test.”  Reading the posting, I am struck once […]


evaluating transparency and accountability initiatives

There has been lots of interesting discussion recently about how to evaluate social media initiatives in governance and political development, such as Patrick Meier’s new post on crowdsourcing election monitoring.  Some of the most exciting and important new social media initiatives aim to improve political transparency and accountability, in the both the developed and developing […]


Five principles of good impact evaluation

Our goal at the IPRE Group is to help organizations working in the fields of political development, conflict and climate change understand, measure, and maximize the impact they have on the ground, in the communities they work with.  In short, this means that we’ve taken the hardest cases, for which there are no established approaches […]