From guessing to knowing

“Stories are the key to understanding the data that FII collects.”

In this blog, Jesús Gerena of the Family Independence Initiative, discusses the need for and the benefit of allowing communities define their own “positive outcomes” when it comes to designing programmes to address community deficits.

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“FII’s approach has not abandoned the rigor of data collection, because we are determined to illuminate the positive outcomes experienced in the communities we work with. But the power of the communities’ stories is equal to the value of the data that uncovers and contextualizes them.”

About the Author

Jesús Gerena is a Managing Partner at the Family Independence Initiative, a board member for the New England Grassroots Environment Fund and the Boston Foundation for Architecture and the former Deputy Director of the Hyde Square Task Force, a program dedicated to empowering and engaging youth in turbulent neighborhoods.

How could this help/improve services for young people?

In the continuing conversation about data collection, it is becoming increasingly clear that an approach centred on individuals, families and their personal stories can be particularly effective in designing interventions that achieve real impact.  

Further Reading

Listening to beneficiaries helps nonprofits learn what doesn’t work by Hilary Pennington and Fay Twersky