JDC’s approach to impact measurement reflects the diversity and scope of our global work. We apply a unified philosophy to decentralized and program-driven systems that are customized to each area of our work. We utilize the MERL framework — Monitoring, Evaluation, Research, and Learning — to ensure organizational resources are used as effectively and efficiently as possible, as well as hold ourselves accountable to our donors, the communities in which we operate, and, most importantly, the people we serve.
We Provide Aid to Vulnerable Jews
In our care programs, measurement is generally focused on ongoing data collection to ensure quality and efficiency of service provision based on measured need. Specific metrics, especially for measuring outputs, are integral to program management. Examples includes numbers of homecare hours, numbers of food packages, and medical supplies provided. In addition, whenever JDC pilots a new intervention in care, it evaluates the pilot in order to assess the impact and efficiency before scaling the program.
hours of homecare for elderly Jews in the former Soviet Union
We Cultivate a Jewish Future
Efforts in this arena focus on “moving the needle”—looking at intermediate indicators (rather than only at the desired final outcomes) to assess whether programs are heading in the right direction. JDC explores and develops ways of assessing impact in communities, which can help inform overall approaches to community development and nurturing Jewish life.
We Unlock Human Capital for the Startup Nation
In Israel, JDC promotes innovative, efficient, and measurable system-wide solutions, to strengthen Israeli society and the wellbeing of all its members. JDC leverages its unique relationship with the Government of Israel (GOI), as well as our partnerships with local municipalities, NGOs, the business sector, academia, and philanthropic partners to develop holistic solutions with broad buy-in.
Myers-JDC-Brookdale, JDC’s applied social research institute in Israel, promotes system-wide analysis and crosscutting, inter-ministerial problem solving, using advanced data analytics to address complex policy questions.
JDC works in the following ways to address Israel’s most pressing social challenges:
- JDC uses research and data to draw the “strategic map” of root causes, key players, obstacles, and opportunities, to design programming, advise policy, and improve services.
- JDC convenes key players and focuses on collaboration-building (architecture) around major social challenges.
- JDC creates data-driven interventions with the greatest potential for achieving system-wide impact. We use our DNA (Design, Nurture, Accelerate) program development model, along with various other types of interventions, to achieve critical impact.
We Rescue Jews in Danger
Measuring JDC’s Rescue work presents a unique challenge — every moment of Jewish peril is a singular event, with its own context, that often requires urgent action. JDC’s responses are customized for each situation and any associated data collection reflects the situation at hand. Evaluation plays a key role in learning about the impact of programs and improving responses over time.
Over the past 100 plus years, JDC has done a meticulous job of record keeping for its various rescues of Jews around the world; JDC’s Archives are a testament to the success of these efforts. Often, JDC’s rescue work reflects moments in time when Jewish lives are at stake — the complex realities of these situations far exceed the confines of traditional impact measurement.
The evolution of JDC’s responses reflects its ongoing learning and integration of knowledge gained from each event.
Jewish people rescued by JDC and its partners since its founding in 1914
We Lead the Jewish Response to Global Crises
JDC’s global disaster relief responds to emergent crises and ongoing development needs. Therefore, impact is measured according to the needs of these two different areas of work. In the case of emergency response JDC’s ensures its practice and intervention models reflect international standards, including for measuring outputs in disaster relief, which is a very specialized and challenging space for monitoring, evaluation and learning. JDC deploys ongoing data collection through its local partners and internal after-action reviews. In the case of major disaster responses, JDC deploys external evaluation. In its ongoing development work, JDC utilized ongoing monitoring and periodic evaluation to ensure program oversight, efficiency, and effectiveness.