December 26, 2016Article

SSIR: The 10 Most Popular SSIR Articles of 2016

by Justine Drennan

Local/ 2016/

A theme running through many of our popular articles published this year is the need to use data in ways that truly engage beneficiary communities, social sector organization leaders, and social impact investors and funders.
Articles also highlight the importance of language in engaging these groups. They explore how terms such as “nonprofit,” “overhead,” and “social entrepreneur” can greatly affect perceptions of social sector work, and suggest new, potentially more helpful ways of framing these ideas.

1. Community Engagement Matters (Now More Than Ever)
In their desire to maximize efficiency, leaders of data-driven programs often operate in a top-down manner and see community engagement as an “extra” that can detract from “what works.” In this article, Melody Barnes and Paul Schmitz show how meaningful, sustained engagement with communities actually strengthens evidence-based practice.