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 >
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?
This is the first of a three part blog post looking at the three 'classic' challenges in evaluation: measurement, attribution and aggregation. Each blog post starts with a brief summary of the challenge, and then concentrates on trying to offer a different way of looking at the challenge and the issues that surround it. At the end of each blog post I hope to offer some practical tools or ideas that could be used by organisations seeking to effect change. more >
In my last post, I said I’d talk a bit more about knowledge mapping. I’m particularly interested in this area because while information retrieval through search engines is rather well supported for individuals engaging in fairly short factual retrieval, longer and collaborative tasks have relatively less tools for their facilitation. So this is an interesting area from an information management perspective in general.