Project Evident Releases New Book “Next Generation Evidence: Strategies for More Equitable Social Impact”
Project Evident announces the publication today of Next Generation Evidence: Strategies for More Equitable Social Impact, a groundbreaking book that reimagines the role of evidence in driving positive change within communities. Published by Brookings Institution Press, this comprehensive volume presents innovative strategies and insights from leaders across various sectors to improve the way evidence is built and used in service of stronger and more equitable outcomes.
Data and evidence are remarkably powerful. They help us understand the needs of communities, make decisions in times of complexity, and generate better outcomes. However, practitioners—the leaders and program staff at nonprofits, school districts, and public agencies—face a number of structural and practical hurdles to building and using evidence. Traditional evaluation and research methods are often not timely, affordable, meaningful, or inclusive, with practitioners relegated to a passive role when they should be leaders of the work. At their worst, data and evidence have been used against practitioners and communities to withhold resources rather than support learning and improvement.
With contributions from a diverse array of thought leaders in policy, government, technology, philanthropy, research, community, and practice, Next Generation Evidence lays out a vision for a stronger and more equitable data and evidence ecosystem—one that uses actionable approaches and centers on the voices of people and communities most directly impacted by the problems we seek to solve. The book also features compelling case studies showcasing practitioners at different stages of their evidence-building journey. These real-world examples illustrate how continuous evidence-building practices can profoundly benefit organizations and, more importantly, bring about tangible improvements in community outcomes.
Next Generation Evidence is about five ideas: centering practitioners and the communities they serve; connecting equity with data and evidence; elevating community voice; embracing a continuous R&D-like approach; and reimagining evidence to broaden its definition and use. “We are living through a moment that requires thinking and acting more boldly to address this country’s deep economic and racial disparities,” said Kelly Fitzsimmons, Project Evident’s Founder and CEO and one of the book’s editors. “These Next Generation ideas can strengthen the use of data, technology, and evidence to accelerate and support learning, improvement, decision-making and ultimately, meaningful impact.”
With philanthropic funding from MacKenzie Scott, the digital version of the book is being offered free of charge. “Without investing more resources and attention to building cultures of learning and continuous evidence building among practitioners, we fall short of realizing the promise of the next stage of evidence: to reimagine and rebuild a more equitable society,” said Tamar Bauer, co-editor of the book and a Senior Advisor at Project Evident. “We’re so grateful to MacKenzie Scott, whose generous support enables us to make this resource accessible to all, as well as to our amazing network of authors for sharing their transformative ideas.”
Visit projectevident.org/next-generation-evidence-the-book/ to download the book for free or purchase physical copies.
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Deputy Managing Director, Field Building and Communications, Project Evident