To Achieve Big Results From Social Policy, Add This

January 21, 2015

Continuous Real-Time Learning to After-The Fact Program Evaluations

In The Huffington Post, Lisbeth (Lee) Schorr and Carnegie Foundation President Anthony Bryk argue that if we truly want to improve our social programs and policies, then it’s not enough to rely solely on experimental evidence to improve outcomes of our efforts.

They write: There is enormous variability in the impact of social interventions across different populations, different organizational contexts, and different community settings. We must learn not only whether an intervention can work (which is what randomized control trials tell us), but how, why, and for whom — and also how we can do better. We must draw on a half-century of work on quality improvement to complement what experimental evidence can tell us. And, importantly, the learning must be done not alone by dispassionate experts, but must involve the people actually doing the work, as well as those whose lives the interventions are trying to enrich.

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