Articles by Heather Esper
Four Insights for Better Measurement: What Businesses Can Learn from the Public and Nonprofit Sectors
In the public and nonprofit sectors, comprehensive monitoring, evaluation and learning approaches are increasingly common – but many small and growing businesses (SGBs) lack the time and resources for these practices. Heather Esper, director of the Performance Measurement and Improvement team at the William Davidson Institute, shares four key data collection and measurement insights from the public and nonprofit worlds that businesses — particularly SGBs — can leverage to improve their decision-making and maximize the social and financial value of their data.
Flipping the Script: Why Small and Growing Businesses Should Lead the Researchers – Not the Other Way Around
All too often, global development research hinges on the interest of researchers, rather than the knowledge needs of small and growing businesses and their impacted communities. This can leave entrepreneurs with plenty of reports, but no practical tools for continuing to collect and use data themselves. Analysts at the William Davidson Institute, Gente Del Futuro, Practical Action and ANDE propose a better approach: letting small businesses lead the way.
We live in an era of multi-sector solutions. But it's easy to forget that diverse sectors working closely toward big global development goals is a recent phenomenon that didn’t happen by chance. At a talk at the William Davidson Institute, Tami Kesselman, founder of Aligned Investing Global, discussed several key tipping points that have allowed the business, government, philanthropic and impact investing communities to overcome misaligned priorities and mistrust. Check out her interview and her predictions on what will come next in multi-sector development.
- Impact Assessment
For many businesses and organizations, the idea of measuring their impact can be scary, elusive or just plain boring. But pairing social and business metrics "power couples" can give organizations unique insights to solve key business challenges. In a new report, the William Davidson Institute shares the results of its work with three organizations to demystify data collection of their social impacts. Rebecca Baylor of WDI writes that the team's work proves impact measurement doesn't have to be as hard as it may seem.
- Impact Assessment
The State of Assessment: Why the ‘assess or not’ debate continues and how we can move beyond it (Part 1 of 2)
Recent debate has focused on whether businesses should assess social, economic and/or environmental impact. How did we get stuck here? In this two-part series, Heather Esper and Yaquta Kanchwala Fatehi of the William Davidson Institute explore the evolution of assessment and how to move beyond the paralysis.
Heather Esper and Yaquta Kanchwala Fatehi of the William Davidson Institute say it's time to stop debating whether businesses should assess social, economic and/or environmental impact, and move on to a conversation about how to extract the most value. They even offer five core activities to accelerate that value.
NexThought Monday – Collecting Data That Matters: Nine tips for making sure your organization extracts the most value from measurement
Measurement is an iterative process. Metrics can and should shift as a company evolves from design to scale. Organizations should focus on collecting data that helps them improve their operations, such as data that can lead to them creating more value for their customers, producers and/or the communities where they operate.
Housing and sanitation: Perhaps no two sectors have greater potential for substantial impact on the many complex problems facing humanity – if their solutions are scaled. And just how to do that, and to know you’re doing it through metrics tools, was an ongoing theme at SOCAP14.