Scaling Brigade Impact Pilots [Brigade Congress 2019]

This is a placeholder for notes and discussion about the Brigade Congress 2019 session:

Session: Scaling Brigade Impact Pilots
Presented by: Mary Joyce (Do Big Good)

Notes Document:

Presentation Slides:

New Cascade Template Deck (v. 4.0)

Measuring Impact


  • Do big good - Seattle
  • Mary, Katherine, Marie-Aimee

Social Impact = Benefit - Harm

Measurement system for “the brigade”

Data and numbers are useful for fund raising, story telling, recruitment

  • Not just about data and numbers
  • Also about journey and planning as you go through

What you measure, how you measure, why you measure, do you measure?

Born out of work…

  • Santa Monica housing - more landlords to offer section 8 properties
    • Actually focused on application process instead of getting landlords on board
    • In 6 months you cannot move entities as quickly
    • How to sort out process for measuring by the end, at the start
    • Process can change over time

Four pilot projects for this effort using the “Impact Cascade” Framework

  • Hack for LA
    • For those at danger of experiencing homeless getting placed into housing
    • Putting folks in market rate units
    • Units are scarce
    • Putting people in multi-room units could work but that means roommates
    • for roommates
    • is 1 to 1 and is not right for this
    • Previously consultant had worked on it and failed to deliver
    • So brigade took over
    • If we can’t move the needle then we shouldn’t be in this project
      • they were moving the needle all the time in the program, but the time / effort was wrong slow etc.
    • Stakeholders in measuring the impact
      • Non profit
      • brigade
      • clients served
      • many stakeholders
    • half a million a year
      • We’re working on it but how to know what is working?
      • Increase rate of placement per month per casework
      • decrease drop-outs from stabilization
  • Gregory from Miami - get housing .org
    • UX research of get housing
    • Build a place that lists affordable housing to get better data to other users
    • need for impact measurement
      • a lot of stakeholders
      • city
      • non-profits
      • big corporate partners
      • need to validate work to the stakeholders in 2 week sprints
    • Build it first, then observe
      • What have they seen?
      • When a user logs in what does the user see / do?
      • Look at # of interviews and obersving quantitate and quantitate results
      • What can we do to make it easier based on observation
    • Impact metric found
      • City was unsure how many affordable housing devs were coming in to program?
      • Most people were going through one analyst to figure it out
      • They were able to focus on data collection and reduce program enrollment/use time!
  • Charlotte / Jillzey
    • customizable roadmap for re-entry
      • filter out resources not applicable to a candidate to help them be better prepared to use a resource
    • This sort of project has a high rate of harm vs benefit
      • how to do this without adding to harm experienced by those already traumatized
    • Stakeholders
      • community of people re-entering
      • others that are less of a focus
    • Interesting impact metric
      • Lower anxiety … how to build tech that lowers anxiety
      • How do you deal with people that feel they’ve missed out on a chunk of time / human progress
      • 100x more stressful to be coming back from disconnection
      • so a focus was placed on how to talk to people about this
  • Harshita Girase
    • Code for buffalo
    • Affordable water
    • Water equity task force
      • Build infrastructure for water
      • Many buffalo residents in poverty
      • So - “Pathways to Affordable Water”
    • 60 - 90 $ credit on water bills
      • Many qualify
      • Less than 1% enrolled
    • Form online
      • Print out
        • Send to office
          • Wait weeks/months (many monthly bills pass in this time)
    • Stakeholders
      • Residents who apply
      • Employees of Buffalo water board
    • Interesting impact
      • One big impact for both stakeholders
      • No. of applications submitted
      • No. of hours it takes to process application
      • Goal is to reduce it to days

Pilot was fill out this “form” (Impact Cascade) before Congress… so they did

  • Start with Stakeholders (RASCI - pre-existing method of identifying stakeholders)
    • Responsible, Accountable to, Supporting, Consulted, Informed
  • Add goals for each phase
    • Start from most distant goal and move back
    • For this to happen… what do people need to be doing with the “tool”
    • For that to happen with the tool, what do we need to do with design
  • Anti-goals
    • Harm
    • Bias
  • Figure out a metric per phase
    • No. actions per time unit for example
  • When would you start doing measurement
    • How often?
  • Cascade Deep Dive
    • Change plan - if you have a project that can be used
      • Or go after the buffalo project
    • Code for Tulsa
      • Measurement on Courtbot
        • OK has one of highest incarceration
        • Reminders to pay for fines would probably reduce incarceration
    • Code for NOLA
      • Capture and present data for hurricane shelter and food locations
      • Story data that talk about the good but no quantitative data
      • How to re-work project to fix that?
    • Data kind - network impact
    • Open Oakland
      • Open disclosure for campaign finance
      • They have data analytics
        • But product is not reaching purpose and audience
    • MoMM
      • Burlington VT
      • OEO ReachUp program financial literacy
    • Adopt a Drain
      • Savanah
    • Lower income neighborhoods
      • How to reach into new areas for how to recruit
      • How to measure a better relationship with government
  • Impact Channel
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