For more than three decades, Nurse-Family Partnership (NFP) has worked to keep children healthy and safe and improve the lives of moms and babies. We consistently evaluate and monitor our efforts to glean evidence that our model gets results and is worth expanding and replicating. But over the course of the past three years we’ve learned that research and outcome data are not everything. NFP today prioritizes a complementary source of gauging what works: listening to NFP moms and implementation partners.

The institutionalization of gathering end-user and partner feedback, and making it part of the way we work, has become our innovation engine, influencing changes to our systems, services, and even our business model.

Organizations’ clunky IT systems can present difficulties for the people they seek to help. Some technologies, such as data collection systems, involve too many steps that could be automated. Sometimes organizations have legacy processes that are outdated or unnecessary given tech advancements.

Asking them for ideas pays off.

NFP, for example, works by pairing specially trained nurses with first-time moms-to-be who are usually in their late teens or early 20s and living in poverty. Nurses visit NFP moms beginning early in their pregnancy until the child’s second birthday, and they record the details of each visit. But thanks to end-user and partner feedback in 2016, the NFP National Service Office had a realization that its systems, which support these visits, needed revamping.

Gathering and applying feedback from end-users, implementation partners, and funders can ultimately improve an organization’s business strategy. At NFP, instead of focusing narrowly on the impact we can create through tested approaches, systematic input from constituents allows us to consider what more we might achieve via continuous improvement.

Read the full article about end-user feedback by  Frank Daidone & Benilda Samuels at Stanford Social Innovation Review.