People argue a lot about evaluation and ‘social impact analysis’ (see, they even argue about what it should be called). They especially love to argue about the ‘best’ way to do it. Like whether you should or shouldn’t have an external evaluator, or whether you should or shouldn’t do a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT). Frankly, it can get a bit confusing – so how do you know the best way to ‘do’ an evaluation? Especially if you're working in social innovation. The answer is that there is no ‘best’ way. more >
Using data to create maps of various kinds is an intriguing and entertaining process: but is it useful? Could such maps make us unjustifiably confident that we know where we are, and where we should be going?
Most people involved in social investment want to know if their efforts are making a positive difference, but seeking to demonstrate attribution (linking changes observed to a specific intervention) can be far from straightforward, and might even be the wrong question to ask.
Like all social investors, Nominet Trust wants to find satisfying and consistent ways to describe the value created through the funds we distribute. Data - open, big and otherwise - is a central component in this process, but how do we determine what, amongst the expanding vastness of the counted and the countable, really counts?