Feedback Loops, A Neuro-Scientist and western Kenya

This summer in Kampala, in between hazardously driving a Benz and awkwardly singing Kenny Rogers with the vice president of Kenya, I had an amazing opportunity to research and co-author a paper with nuero-scientist cum philanthropy feedback loop expert Marc Maxson. Marc is manager of performance analytics at Global Giving, one of the most important 'start-ups' in the marketplace for aid. In his spare time, he does things like write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

To better understand feedback loops, we each visited Kisumu, in western Kenya, to hang out with SACRENA, a project that received both traditional feedback [external expert evaluator] and more informal, experimental, web and mobile mediated feedback loops [Global Giving visitor postcards, direct email links between project beneficiaries and funders].

The resulting paper, “Real-time technology aided feedback loops in international philanthropy” was delivered at the International Social Innovation Research Conference at Oxford by Mari Kuraishi, GlobalGiving’s president. The paper is an early step in exploring some of the qualitative differences in the two types of feedback. The next exciting step is to pilot new and better forms of feedback loops between donors and beneficiaries.



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