Closing the citizen feedback loop

This article, written by Dennis Whittle and David Bonbright for Keystone Accountability, argues that collecting and responding to feedback is essential as it is not only the right thing to do but it is also the smart thing to do.

They continue by describing how organisations are mainly aware of the benefit of feedback - one of the three key elements of effective feedback loops. However, most funders have yet to adopt the other two key elements, incentives and tools. The paper continues by describing the how and why of these two other ingredients of effective feedback loops. 


"Working closely with new members and key actors in the philanthropic ecosystem such as Charity NavigatorLIFTGlobal IntegrityIntegrity ActionCDA, and How Matters, Feedback Labs is trying to create a new culture that recognizes that collecting and responding to feedback from the people we are trying to help is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. It is the right thing to do because, just like in a democracy, the people themselves should be sovereign. It is the smart thing to do because numerous cases show that properly designed and executed feedback loops improve outcomes.

The new CEP report out on beneficiary voice provides ground for optimism, and also points to clear challenges and opportunities for the feedback community. The optimism derives from the fact that 95% of nonprofits responding in the survey assert that they collect feedback during service delivery. To collect is one thing, but to do something about what you hear is another. Here the signal is also encouraging since 61% of non-profit organizations say they use feedback to a “great” or “extreme” extent."


Whittle, D. & Bonbright, D. (2014). Closing the Citizen Feedback Loop. Keystone Accountability. Retrieved from:

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