Michael McAfee on Bill Gates’ Wish for Measurement: Check out Promise Neighborhoods!

04 Feb 2013 |
Michael McAfee on Bill Gates’ Wish for Measurement: Check out Promise Neighborhoods!
Above: Bill Gates at the World Economic Forum in Davos last week.

Did you see this article in the Wall Street Journal by Bill Gates? He’s hoping for better measurement, clear goal-setting, stakeholder buy-in, feedback loops, and accountability to solve the world’s problems.

Sound familar?

“If I could wave a wand,” Gates writes, “I’d love to have a way to measure how exposure to risks like disease, infection, malnutrition and problem pregnancies impact children’s potential—their ability to learn and contribute to society. Measuring that could help us quantify the broader impact of those risks and help us tackle them.”

Michael McAfee, director of the Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink, has this to say in response:

“I’m so glad Mr. Gates is bringing attention to the need to set clear goals, use measures to drive progress, and analyze results in a feedback loop. Since he’s interested in measuring risks impacting children’s potential, I’m pleased to report that we are already doing that. Promise Neighborhoods, which build a continuum of education, health, and social supports from the cradle to college to career based on the successful model of the Harlem Children’s Zone, work on common indicators to achieve a shared set of results. They rigorously measure data, assess progress, and continuously improve and connect services to help children succeed.

Across the country, over 60 Promise Neighborhoods are scaling up to serve over 200,000 children. Because their efforts address the interconnected challenges of poverty, this movement has the ability to collectively measure and erode systemic barriers together, ultimately creating a just and fair society in which all children can learn, participate, and prosper.”

What do you think?