Listen: Where next for the impact agenda?
29 November 2022
A lot of good ideas have come from trust-based philanthropy. But as ever, you can have too much of a good thing. In this case, unquestioning trust means downplaying impact assessment – and even the entire impact agenda. We should all know that this is a bad idea.
Without some kind of an impact assessment we knock out the little accountability that philanthropists, and charities themselves, are subject to. Rather than shifting power, we let the power dynamic rip.
But we must include the people we seek to help in our decisions, implementation, and evaluation. There is no point in plotting the fastest route to where nobody wants to go!
We need more involvement, more participatory grant making, more from peer researchers, and we need to exploit the possibilities of digital and data.
The key is not to throw away all the top-down techniques but to bring them together with bottom-up methods. Balanced Evaluation is how we will help philanthropy improve.