“It was something of a leap of faith, because I wasn’t sure how much traction there would be. Or if people would be concerned about what came to the surface.”

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Episode notes

Nick van Praag founded and runs an organisation called Ground Truth Solutions. They work with people affected by crises to get their feedback and perspectives on emergency response.

In practice this means door-to-door surveys, over time, of how people feel about the timeliness, quality and fairness of humanitarian service provision. This is shared with service providers and funding agencies to benchmark what they’re doing, and encourage greater responsiveness.

What is particularly intriguing is that Nick started Ground Truth in 2012 after a long career in the World Bank and other multilateral institutions. So this amounted to a pretty significant career pivot. We talk about:

  • what it was like to jump from a large international bureaucracy to running a start-up;
  • how to market a service that pretty much promises the customer uncomfortable feedback;
  • how the sector can sustainably shift from “value for money” to “value for people”.