Steps of a Closed Feedback Loop – Global

Steps of a Closed Feedback Loop – Global

Steps of a Closed Feedback Loop

What are the steps involved?

Preparation step: Buy-in

The ultimate goal is to create a sustainable system for continuous, iterated feedback, and this
requires an environment in which there are three kinds of buy-in:

  1. Decision-Makers: those who make the programmatic decisions commit to act upon feedback
  2. Frontline Staff: those who are implementing the programs agree to listen for and report the feedback received from the constituents
  3. Constituents: those in the community being served want to give feedback and have an appetite for accountability
Designing your feedback process gives your organization a chance to agree upon its values and begin putting them into practice. This design stage gives everyone an opportunity to get on the same page, clearly articulating the goals of the feedback process and ensuring that they mirror your organization’s mission and theory of change.
Collecting constituent feedback is essential to hearing the voices of your target population. But it’s critical to remember that this system is not simply about getting answers to your questions – it’s about building a relationship with constituents so that they feel valued, consulted, and engaged in the process.
In order to understand the feedback that you’ve received, it’s critical to analyze the data to make sense of your constituents’ opinions. Analyzing allows you to see your organization through your target populations’ eyes and identify areas of improvement, based on their feedback. You can also see how your organization has grown over time, how it has impacted the community in which you work, and even how it compares to others in the field.
The most important part of the feedback loop is having conversations with constituents: reporting back what you found and then co-creating solutions. We call this activity sense-making, as in making sense of the findings through open conversations with respondents that generate a shared understanding of ways to improve. This two-way conversation both solicits answers and raises expectations among the community, moving further towards a demand for accountability, while also improving response rates for the future.

The Feedback Loop isn’t complete unless the findings lead to real action! Keep in mind, you won’t truly know if your actions led to improvements unless you keep collecting feedback on a continuous basis.

Find more details of the methodology here.

Simply collecting feedback is not enough. It is critical to close the loop by ensuring that feedback systems are properly designed and implemented, the data is analysed with the community, and the data is used by decision makers to make the desired changes that move the community as a whole towards goals and, eventually, impact.

Does your organisation have a civil society accountability or transparency practice that you would like to showcase here? Please let us know in the form below – any language is welcome! If you have any questions, please let us know at

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What is feedback? Check this tutorial for an introduction of the concepts and practice of feedback.

Check how strong is your feedback loop by taking this quiz.

When is information empowering, when is it not? Read this report of the 7 principles of reinterpreting information.

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"Closing the feedback loop, i.e. being responsive to our stakeholders and adapt based on their feedback, is a crucial part of the two-way communication concept of Dynamic Accountability."