Reconsidering Evidence: What It Means and How We Use It

Evidence plays a key role in solving pressing problems around the world. But as it becomes clear that addressing complex problems requires more than a single program, discussions about what evidence means and how it should be used are gaining momentum.

In this Stanford Social Innovation Review article, Lisbeth B. Schorr explores how the conversation around evidence is shifting. No longer is the purpose of evidence simply to provide with certainty that a program can work. Instead, she suggests, we need a broader range of evidence to address previously neglected areas. With a growing set of data, organizations would be part of the knowledge development business. This in turn would allow for results to be more reliably reached at scale as funding becomes evidence-informed.

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