But this is not enough. If we are going to sustain feedback loops or continuous improvement methodologies, we need incentives. The primary incentive, in the end, will be money. And in most communities, the way money is dispersed in the social sector must change. Very concretely, we recommend moving from the Request for Proposals (RFP) to the Request for Engagement (RFE).
In an RFP, the funder decides what the best practice is and the practitioners scurry to find ways to implement what has been decided for them. With an RFE, funders first identify the concrete outcome they want to move MOVE +2.36%, such as kindergarten readiness or college graduation rates. But instead of prescribing what to do, they establish the expectation that programs and services must work together to establish a feedback loop to practice continuous improvement. In essence, they must look at local data to identify where there is the most pressing need and what is already working locally, determine if what they find aligns with the actual experience of the locals, and then develop a concrete plan for how to leverage all existing and new assets behind a shared plan to get better results.