Dangers of data, value of randomised controlled trials

Two contrasting discussion articles on data and evaluation.

From a nonprofit comment site which likes to make strong statements, ‘Weaponized data: How the obsession with data has been hurting marginalized communities‘ does give some serious backing to the headline.

Over on NCVO’s pages, the Head of their Charities Evaluation Services introduces an article exploring in depth the usefulness of randomised controlled trials for evaluation in the voluntary sector. ‘RCTs – the next step for impact assessment?‘. The document itself ‘Randomised controlled trials – gold standard or fool’s gold? The role of experimental methods in voluntary sector impact assessment’ is in pdf, 280KB, and linked from the end of that piece.