Charities produce masses of evidence about their effectiveness – it’s how donors can decide between them – but Giving Evidence suspects that much of it is missing (unpublished), ropey (uses poor research methods), unclear (so you can’t tell whether it’s ropey or not) and/or you can’t find it (because it’s only published on the website of an organisation you’ve never heard of: there are virtually no centralised indexed repositories).
Research that is poor or hidden damages beneficiaries in two ways. First, donors and other operational charities can’t see what works and therefore what to fund or replicate, so may implement something avoidably suboptimal. And second, the research consumes resources, which could perhaps be better spent on delivering something that does work.
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