How Do We Evaluate Progress Towards the Sustainable Development Goals?

What can we do to effectively evaluate progress towards the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? This was one of the principal questions asked at the recent conference hosted in Guanajuato, Mexico by three international evaluation associations: the International Development Evaluation Association (IDEAS), the Latin American and Caribbean Monitoring, Evaluation, and Systematization Network (ReLAC), and the Latin American and Caribbean Monitoring and Evaluation Network (REDLACME).

Throughout the three-day conference, which brought together approximately 500 evaluators and evaluation commissioners from 47 different countries, I gathered seven recurring themes posed as answers to this one question. Continue reading

Be Informed: Developing Content for Media Campaigns

Media campaigns are intended to affect their audiences – such as convincing people not to text and drive, or persuading people to purchase a product or vote for a particular candidate. There are various touchpoints where media can help lead an audience from awareness to action on an issue. Being able to track these touchpoints – and the audiences engaged – enables organizations and media distributors to more efficiently and effectively test their content as well as intelligently move audiences from awareness to action at a faster, more effective rate. Continue reading

The Age of the Strategic Follower

A few years ago I was introduced to my now favorite TED Talk: Derek Sivers on “How to start a movement.” In two minutes he explains how a movement starts using some amusing footage of a spontaneous dance group. If you haven’t seen it, it is worth the break. What captivated me was his conclusion—and it wasn’t about the leader.

Rightly, much has been made of the importance of leadership—be it in business, government, nonprofits, or online. In the nonprofit sector, starting with the dooms-day scenario of mass baby-boom retirements that was the rage in the early 2000’s, through today’s steady drumbeat of leadership training and development, leadership is on the minds of philanthropic sector professionals.  Continue reading