As an organization, OATS strives to both produce new research and reports, and be an influential contributor to the growing body of knowledge around older adults and technology. To that end, Ines Escandón, OATS Director, Impact Measurement and Learning, was recently quoted in a new report, “Developing a Digital Equity Theory of Change with Tech Goes Home,” that provides recommendations for how to measure impact and improve outcomes for digital equity programs.
The report from researchers at nonprofit Tech Goes Home, The Digital Equity Research Center and the Metropolitan New York Library Council, seeks insights from digital inclusion and digital equity organizations to understand how they defined success for their organizations and communities.
Escandón discussed the challenges of measuring outcomes due to the difficulty many digital inclusion organizations have with proving causality, e.g., the relationship between cause and effect. She also addressed the question of how organizations can measure the outcomes and impacts of their programs not only for those individuals who benefit from services, but also for the community-based organizations with whom they partner. It’s an especially important question for OATS. “So much of what we do is through other institutions,” Escandón said. “We have a licensing program where we work with institutions across the country to bring Senior planet programs to older adults locally. Trying to measure your influence with other institutions has been really challenging, but I think it’s important.”