What Counts: Harnessing Data for America’s Communities, a new volume of essays jointly published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and The Urban Institute, was released and available to the public in early December. Maggie Grieve, Vice President of Success Measures at NeighborWorks America, who authored the essay entitled “Shared Measurement: Advancing Evaluation of Community Development Outcomes” participated in a live webcast panel discussion on December 4 at the book launch in Washington DC.
This important new journal, supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, addresses the difficult question of how to improve conditions in some of the country’s most distressed communities. The nearly 50 contributing authors contend that to answer this question we need to enhance the ways that we collect, use, and share data across institutions and sectors.
Grieve’s essay examines the advantages and challenges of using shared measures in community development efforts. She explores how nonprofit organizations, intermediaries, and funders apply shared measurement within collective impact strategies and evaluate complex revitalization programs, place-based strategies, and similar programs across differing geographies and populations. NeighborWorks America’s Community Impact Measurement Project and Financial Capability Demonstration Project are highlighted as examples of shared measurement efforts. Also included are questions which organizations can use to assess the potential fit of a shared measurement approach, and some suggested practices and tips for moving forward.
Download or order a free copy of the book at www.whatcountsforamerica.org