May 18, 2016

Everything should be evidence-based - if only the evidence would make up its mind already

This question came up on an Evaluation mailing list and was forwarded to non other than Andrew Gelman, and for our purposes it can be boiled down to: what do we really know about financial motivation in organisations? Do we know enough to be able to say something like in this case use this reward system, it will bring you optimal results”?

Reading through the illustrious answers it seems clear that there are dozens of different theories and variations of theories, each with some research evidence, but nowhere anything like an evidence-backed consensus.

Policy, project and programme design, …. everything should be evidence-based - if only the evidence would make up its mind already.

Motivation and reward are comparatively easy to conceptualise and research. If we can’t get consensus here, how are we going to get consensus with hundreds of harder real-world problems like how much should cash programmes after a natural disaster target women? - single women? how much? family size? conditionality?”

How can we construct Theories of Change if there is such a lack of consensus about what leads to what?

twitter evaluation Theories of Change social research
May 16, 2016

Using tags on to get a custom rss feed e.g. for contributing to r-bloggers.

On my old blog, any posts tagged with R appeared in special rss feed with the tag R, which was picked up by r-bloggers. On this shiny new blog powered by, that doesn’t happen automatically. So if you are using blot and want to contribute to r-bloggers, follow along with what I did, thanks to a tip from the Maker of blot:

  1. Created a new feed adapting these instructions:
  2. In the design for my template, added a new view” which I decided to name rfeed.xml (.xml to ensure the proper content-type is used). As URL I specified /rfeed.rss.
  3. Pasted in the code; note the two mentions of tagged.R. (I had to post the code on github because it gets eaten by blot.) I tweaked the example given to include the body of the post as well.

Now as I tagged this post with R, it should appear in the feed. I could also have created a tag folder called [R]’ to hold such posts but it is enough just to tag posts with the R tag.

R socialmedia nerdvana
April 15, 2016

Testing my twitter feed from

I already posted about setting up this blogging platform,, to push tagged posts to an rss feed. Now I am trying a similar thing to get posts tagged twitter pushed to twitter via

twitter socialmedia nerdvana

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