09 February 2011

Evaluating Impact: Kevin Starr

In the video, Kevin Starr of the Mulango Foundation, discusses his thoughts on measuring impact.  He offers some simple ways to take a look a projects and how to effectively evaluate their successes.  In the end, he takes a look at failed projects like One Laptop Per Child and PlayPumps to show where they went wrong.  This is a good step towards the idea of implementing solid evaluations, but Starr really could have driven things home if he used his own foundation amongst the examples.  It is easy to point out the failures of others while not considering our own.

Kevin offers four excellent questions for evaluating projects that are presented:
  1. Is it needed? 
  2. Does it work? 
  3. Will it get to those who need it? 
  4. Will they use it correctly when they get it?
I might try to use them in the future as a way of looking at new ideas.

As the discussion about admitting failure begins to gain traction, the community must be willing to state where they have failed.  Either way, this is a video worth watching.

Credit: Kevin Starr: Lasting Impact from PopTech on Vimeo.
Note: I forgot who originally tweeted this, so please claim it and I will edit the HT to you.