Secrets of success? How charity funders use and share evidence in practice

Jonathan Breckon from the Alliance for Useful Evidence writes about how charity funders in the UK are sitting on "a treasure-trove of data that could benefit the entire social policy sector." 

"A range of audiences could benefit if this information was shared more widely, according to the funders interviewed for a new Alliance for Useful Evidence report Secrets of Success? How charitable funders use and share evidence in practice. The biggest win could be for charities themselves, as potential grant applicants. "If we don't share this [internal evidence gathering] with our applicants, they have to guess what we know and what we are looking for", according to Sarah Mistry formerly head of research at the Big Lottery Fund. Grant applicants could use information shared by funders to: learn faster, improve practice identify partners, and become more cost-effective."
"How could funders make better use of this knowledge and expertise? A good start is just publishing some of the research summaries already prepared for boards and internal decisions. Funders prepare scoping papers and syntheses of evidence for internal purposes, but these are not routinely published." / #Transparency  
"Visualisation tools and dashboards of different kinds of data are being used in a range of different ways to gather insight right now. For example, UN Global Pulse is just one example of an initiative to make the most of the information out there and use it in a live or 'dynamic' way." / #Dashboards   #DataVisualisation  
"Funders occupy privileged positions and could do more to help open up and strengthen the evidence base. They are the guardians of funds for public benefit, and, as one interviewee for our report said, are 'not really operating in a competitive market'. Is there anyone better placed to take a lead in sharing what they know - whether or not they can say if it worked? The secrets of success are not always held within funders. But by sharing what they do have with other funders, grantees, practioners and policymakers can only benefit all of us."

#Charities   #Benchmarking   #PositiveLocalImpact     #Collaboration  

Posted by +Dan Durrant 

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