Michael Gechter

Michael Gechter Michael Gechter is the co-founder of Idealistics Inc. and is a PhD student in Economics at Boston University. Michael focuses on the problem of quantifying the value added by social sector organizations, helping agencies identify and collect metrics that quantify social impact.

Posts by Michael Gechter

What Imprecise Homeless Counts can Actually Teach Us

A couple of weeks ago, David Henderson wrote a piece criticizing the Los Angeles City Homeless Services Authority (LAHSA) for failing to report margins of error around its estimate of the size of the Los Angeles Homeless population.

Most likely, as David argued, LAHSA failed to report the statistical error bounds around its estimate because doing so would have revealed that LAHSA could not statistically determine whether homelessness had increased or decreased since its last estimate, collected in 2009.

When Testing Hurts: Why the New York City Department of Homeless Services is Wrong

I’ve written before that program evaluation is all-important, allowing us as social sector practitioners to determine what kinds of poverty alleviation programs work and what kinds don’t. But, as David Henderson wrote last week, there is also a dark side to experimenting with social policy: we can hurt the people we are trying to help. […]

Innovation and Evaluation: Saluting the Homeless Shelter Pay-To-Stay Experiment

Posted Sep 16, 2010 | Comments Off on Innovation and Evaluation: Saluting the Homeless Shelter Pay-To-Stay Experiment

The Union Rescue Mission (URM), a homeless services provider in downtown Los Angeles’s Skid Row, recently announced it would start charging some shelter residents a fee for staying in the agency’s shelter. I applaud URM’s decision to try something new, not because I think it will necessarily succeed in improving client outcomes, but because it […]