Category: Field Notes

Metrics from the Ground Up

Measurement is about more than accountability. It has the potential to build more impactful businesses, improve resource allocation, and support sector-wide efficiency. When impact metrics are integrated with financial and operational metrics, they can help organizations develop better products and services, make better investment decisions, and become more efficient in achieving impact. To that end, […]

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New Brief Envisions “Humanitarian Data Ecosystem” Founded on Responsible Data

A new UNOCHA concept brief outlines a framework for data responsibility as practice and culture among humanitarian organizations.

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Clear Goals, Uncertain Impact: CEP report analyzes the role of transparency in foundation grantmaking

Transparency – it’s a hot button issue in the ongoing discussion of data use in the social good sector, among other fields. But what exactly does it mean to foundations and grantees, and how is it tied to effectiveness in philanthropy? The Center for Effective Philanthropy (CEP) explored these and other questions in a recently […]

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Beattie’s Story: A case study in visualizing small data

  It’s been said before: if big data is about machines, then small data is about people. By their very nature, small data are accessible, informative and actionable—all useful things to have in your toolbox if you communicate around social good. These days I find a lot of small organizations are feeling the pressure to […]

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Locking the Web Open

The Locking the Web Open summit is open to all those committed to participating in and helping to create what Lucy Bernholz calls “digital civil society.”

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Case Study: PROSAS- A Brazilian Experience For Social Good Data

  In March of 2013, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launched a global challenge called “Increasing Interoperability of Social Good Data.” The main goal was to improve the availability of diverse and qualified data about the social sector and to generate knowledge from different data islands.   By that time we had an idea sketched […]

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Modernizing The Marketplace For Governance Data

  Have you ever read an article in the Economist criticizing countries on their corruption levels and wondered what their sources were? The paper likely based its analysis on one or more of the assessment(s) the Governance Data Alliance concerns itself with.   Similar to Markets For Good, the Governance Data Alliance is a community […]

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Civic Crowdsourcing 101

As President Obama takes to SXSW to encourage techies to join government, we need to ask not only how technology can improve democracy, but how democracy must shape civic technology.

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What 7,000 Patients Say

  As of this month, 7,000 patients have been funded on Watsi.   Some patients and their families wait years for healthcare. When they finally have the opportunity to receive treatment, what do they say? When a patient seeks care, a doctor interviews them and their family about the patient’s life, medical history, and expectations […]

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The Trials and Tribulations of Data Visualization for Good

  “I love big data.  It’s got such potential for storytelling.”  At DataKind, we hear some version of this narrative every week.  As more and more social organizations dip their toes into using data, invariably the conversation about data visualization comes up. There is a growing feeling that data visualization, with its combination of “engaging […]

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