A weekly round-up of articles, information and resources that you and your organization will not want to miss!

Our exploration into what it takes to build a new type of urban practice has surfaced a number of promising practices that we’re highlighting in this week’s #GoodReads round-up. Read on for insight on how organizations across sectors are working to achieve dramatically better results for low-income people, faster.

Impact Investing

From the Gates Foundation, Direct Investment, Not Grants - By Sarah Max, The New York Times

This article provides a fascinating “behind the scenes” look at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation impact investing strategy. What caught our eye? The the idea of making an investment as a way to ensure that a company focuses on low income people. The Gates Foundation approach is very relevant to Living Cities' work and, potentially, a promising practice for the future.

Recommended by Ben Hecht, President and CEO

Evidence-Based Decision-Making

Mission Control: A History of the Urban Dashboard - By Shannon Mattern, Places Journal

Our CEO, Ben Hecht, often talks about how big data could enable us to create “Humanity’s Dashboard”. This article explores the history of urban dashboards – from carriages to crime fighting – and provides wise advice on how we can move the needle on making “Humanity’s Dashboard” a reality.

Recommended by Elizabeth Vargas, Associate, Strategic Communications and Engagement

When Less Impact Per Client = Greater Social Good - Matthew Forti, Stanford Social Innovation Review

In this article, Matthew Forti argues that mission driven organizations need a more nuanced understanding of why and how impact may fluctuate over time. Forti hits on a particularly relevant point for nonprofits trying to be more data-driven: being rigorous in measuring your impact means that you have to adapt your measures and expectations as times goes on.

Recommended by Daniela Pineda, Associate Director, Measurement, Learning and Evaluation

Pay for Success

State and Local Governments Receive Assistance to Launch Pay for Success Projects Across the Country - The Harvard Kennedy School of Government

HOPE SF, a member of Living Cities’ The Integration Initiative, was selected as one of six sub-grantees for a Harvard SIB Lab grant supporting deeper assessment of how Pay for Success can improve outcomes for high-needs populations. A Pay for Success model could help San Francisco ensure evidence based and outcomes-focused social service delivery, and better alignment of City funding and contracts and private sector funding to build stronger communities for public housing residents.

Recommended by Ellen Ward, Senior Investment Associate, Capital Innovation

Collective Impact

The Capacity for Impact - By Kaci Roach, StriveTogether Blog

Transformative, systemic change requires partnership capacity. After all, capacity will, in part, will determine our ability to get work done! Now, research by StriveTogether examines the staffing and budget capacity needed for cradle to career collective impact work, and highlights two promising strategies.

Recommended by Juan Sebastian Arias, Program Associate, Collective Impact and Jeff Raderstrong, Program Associate, The Integration Initiative

Public Sector Innovation & Open-Sourcing Social Change

The Civic Media Project - By Eric Gordon and Paul Mihailidis

The Civic Media Project chronicles the efforts of people around the world to use technology and social media to affect civic change. The Project is intended to be a living resource, providing examples and case-studies of civic media (in real time!) as the field grows each day. We encourage you to check it out!

Recommended by Tamir Novotny, Senior Program Associate, Public Sector Innovation