Too often global aid institutions struggle to operationalize feedback as more than a box-checking exercise. Their experiences offer three important lessons for those seeking to advance equity in philanthropy and the social sector:
- Awareness is not enough. Widespread agreement that feedback is important does not always lead to high-quality feedback practice. In five years, for example, the World Bank’s citizen engagement framework has generated widespread buy-in for constituent feedback among management and staff, but a recent evaluation of the framework noted that this change in mindset has not been accompanied by a significant change in practice.
- Closing the loop is key. Closing the loop — not only taking action on feedback received but also letting people know how one acted on that feedback — is critical to high-quality feedback practice that contributes to greater equity. But global experiences suggest it’s the most difficult, and often most neglected, step. The World Bank, for example, has struggled to close the loop consistently across programs.
- Feedback should be funded. Experiences from our global network suggest that even when organizations want to close the loop, they don’t always know how. They need staff time, financial resources and tools, and training to help them figure out how to ensure feedback supports greater equity and inclusion in their contexts. For feedback to contribute to greater equity, it should be a funded mandate.
Read the full article about the global feedback movement by Megan Campbell and Britt Lake at The Center for Effective Philanthropy.