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Rad Resources & Fresh Faces

By Informing Change

Sharing Our Data Ethics Resources

We partnered with The David and Lucile Packard Foundation on the Data Ethics Guidebook & Toolkit, which we have rolled out as freely accessible publications. We believe these can serve as invaluable resources for evaluators, foundations, nonprofits, and other social sector commissioners of evaluation, delivering practical guidance and customizable tools for navigating ethical issues in research and evaluations.

We recently had the opportunity to highlight the importance of ethical data usage and management on this topic from several perspectives through a Data Ethics Week series on the American Evaluation Association’s AEA365 ‘tip-a-day’ blog, which are linked below:

  1. What is Data Ethics? by Anjie Rosga and Caitlin Stanton
  2. Our Data Ethics Journey by Andrea Lozano, The Packard Foundation
  3. Collecting Demographic Data with Care by Inti Chomsky
  4. Thinking Ethically and Thinking Equitably by Caitlin Stanton
  5. It’s Not Just Data by Billie Joe Rogers, Reciprocal Consulting
  6. Building Your Team’s Ethical Thinking Muscles: Professional Development in Ethics by Anjie Rosga
  7. Don’t Forget to Take a Break! by Johnny Du

Showcasing Our Latest Work

Visit our website to catch up on our other new featured projects and publications, including:

  • A case study on our work creating a refreshed theory of change and new strategic plan for Footsteps, a nonprofit providing comprehensive services to people who have chosen to leave their ultra-Orthodox communities and begin new lives.
  • A brief summarizing our assessment of Foundation for Jewish Camp’s Specialty Camps Incubator, which provided financial and capacity-building support to establish new Jewish camps offering teen programs that dove deep into a specialty area could attract new campers and simultaneously increase the capacity of the Jewish camp field.
  • An executive summary looking back at Groundswell Fund’s funding impact in the reproductive justice and birth justice movements.
  • A developmental evaluation of Partnership for the Bay’s Future’s inaugural grant program, the Challenge Grants for Protection and Preservation, to facilitate government and community collaboration for equitable policy change that aims to address pressing affordable housing challenges.
  • An assessment of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation’s Performing Arts program’s intermediary funding partners and its impact on the Bay Area performing arts landscape. This was a collaborative effort with Open Mind Consulting.

Racial Equity Commitment

Coming out of last year’s staff retreat, we committed to taking various action steps refocusing our company practices towards better aligning with REDI and JEDI principles, and reframing work policies or norms that show unconscious bias and/or have characteristics rooted in white supremacy culture.

Externally, we’ve added an equity statement to our website to articulate our guiding principles. Internally, our team has been working in small teams on, among other things:

  • Establishing staff guidelines for responding to client actions considered to be racist, sexist, ableist, etc.;
  • How we prioritize the potential new work we choose to bid on;
  • The types of questions to ask when collecting demographic data;
  • Auditing our internal policies and procedures to ensure they are inclusive, equitable, and values-aligned.
Clockwise from top left: Rachel, Johnny, Emily, Eliel, Ayenna

Fresh Faces!

In recent months, we have been thrilled to welcome five new members to our team: Rachel Kramer (Associate), Johnny Du (Writer/Editor), Emily Medica (Research Assistant), Eliel Tekka Gebru (Senior Associate), and Ayenna Cagaanan (Research Assistant). Shifting to a hybrid working model has allowed us to find the right fits for our team regardless of location: while Rachel, Johnny, and Ayenna are based in the Bay Area, Emily (Oregon) and Eliel (Minnesota) can work from afar. We still value the in-person experience, though, and have established weeks throughout the year in which our long-distance employees join the local crew on a quarterly basis.

Below are their responses to our ‘get to know you’ questionnaire:

1. What is your favorite thing about working at Informing Change?

    • Rachel: My colleagues! I feel so grateful to work with so many hardworking, intelligent, and caring people who are aligned with my values. They are an inspiration to me and I feel so supported yet constantly challenged.
    • Johnny: I’m sure everyone else will say something about the people (editor’s note: they did), so I’ll mix it up and say the company’s respect/encouragement for a work-life balance is, in a good way, unlike what I’ve encountered in my previous jobs.
    • Emily: My fantastic colleagues. It’s so nice to work in a place where you are surrounded by kind and fun people.
    • Eliel: Love the energy and enthusiasm everyone brings to the work. It is refreshing and fun to work with so many talented people from all walks of life!
    • Ayenna: The people!

2. What did you take for granted in a pre-COVID world that you don’t take for granted now?

    • Rachel: So many things: being indoors with friends and family, tightly packed music events, and all forms of group transportation.
    • Johnny: As someone who still strongly prefers the theater experience, I sorely missed the communal energy and vibes from seeing a film in a full auditorium.
    • Emily: The ease of meeting people and making plans last minute.
    • Eliel: Being able to visit people in the hospital or at home was something I completely took for granted in a pre-COVID world.
    • Ayenna: Access to ‘third places’ like cafes, public, libraries, and parks.

3. Where is your ideal vacation destination?

    • Rachel: I love traveling anywhere with delicious food. I’m looking forward to going to Sicily next month!
    • Johnny: Domestic: San Diego and New Orleans. International: Australia and Japan.
    • Emily: Estonia!
    • Eliel: The Great Barrier Reef will always remain one of the most spectacular sites I have experienced.
    • Ayenna: Any national park! I want to visit parks like the Torres del Paine National Park in Chile, Parque Natural da Ribeira dos Caldeirões in Portugal, or Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China.

4. What’s your must-have accessory or accessories for working from home?

    • Rachel: An external monitor on my desk and slippers on my feet.
    • Johnny: Wrist rests for my keyboard and mouse, and multiple fans for those summer heat waves (no AC!).
    • Emily: A small, magnetic second monitor for my laptop; it’s fully portable so I can use it in coffee shops, parks, or, theoretically, elsewhere in my apartment (I don’t know where else I could go but if I did, I’d still have two screens).
    • Eliel: Coffee Maker 🙂
    • Ayenna: My favorite coffee mug.

5. What’s the most-used app on your phone (that you’re willing to admit you use)?

    • Rachel: Probably Strava. I love cheering on my friends as they work hard training or visit beautiful places to do outdoor activities and I love tracking my own progress and sporty adventures.
    • Johnny: I waste a lot of time learn something new every day lurking on Reddit.
    • Emily: According to my screen time monitor, it’s a near-tie between the Washington Post and Safari (I Google a lot of things).
    • Eliel: This surprised me a bit but according to my screen time monitor, Maps and Calendar are my most-used apps. I would have guessed Google. 🙂
    • Ayenna: YouTube.

6. Do you have any recommended media to watch, read, and/or listen to from the past year or so (film, television, book, podcast, and/or album)?

    • Rachel: Some of my favorite books I’ve read this year are: This Is How You Lose the Time War by Max Gladstone and Amal El-Mohtar (novella), The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi (novel), and The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Ken Liu (short stories). Also, The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (novel) which was recommended to me by our own Tina Cheplick!
    • Johnny: Movies from the “nominated for zero Oscars division”: The Menu, The Woman King, Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America. Television: The Last of Us, Poker Face
    • Emily: Podcasts: Strict Scrutiny, Straight White American Jesus, and The Bugle
    • Eliel: TV series I recently watched although most of them have been out for a while are The Night Of (2016) and Unbelievable (2019) — trigger warning on both. On the lighter side of things, Abbott Elementary (2021) and Jury Duty (2023) are something to check out if you are into mockumentaries.
    • Ayenna: This past year I’ve been watching shows that highlight the past, present, and future of street food and street food vendors across the world. I recommend the Taco Chronicles and Street Food series on Netflix.