One of the biggest projects on the calendar for any NGO is the impact measurement project. Regularly, every NGO needs to see how their projects or endeavors have made an impact & how much. The data from these projects are used to understand if the project was successful, stay transparent to the stakeholders and also attract new donors.
However, impact measurement is not always smooth sailing and occasionally, there are a few things that need to be addressed. Problems will always arise and you need to know how to deal with these issues before they get out of hand. The following article will identify some of the common challenges NGOs face when doing impact measurement.
Biggest Challenges For NGOs While Doing Impact Measurement
Instead of simply pointing out the challenges, we have found a couple of small solutions. While these solutions might not solve all of your problems, they are a step in the right direction to get you going. The following challenges might seem like a mountain to climb, but they can be resolved with just a little bit of effort:
Understanding the importance of Impact Measurement
The biggest challenge is to understand how important impact measurement is. Unfortunately, most of the organizations still don’t appreciate the benefits of impact measurement and how vital it is to have clear & transparent data.
Solution: You might need to spend some time to explain to your colleagues or management about the benefits of impact measurement. Case studies from other projects, expert consulting might help you convince your team.
The Wrong Tool For The Job
One of the biggest issues is having the right tools to complete the job. For an NGO, this will be the right software or measuring techniques. There are tons of tools available, but without the right tool, you might not have the best data. The biggest issue to deal with is having the wrong data or false data when going to investors. Also, most of the tools available are also really expensive.
Solution: You might need to do some research to find the right tool suitable for you. Artemis Impact App is one such tool which reliably lets you collect the relevant data for impact measurement.
Belief Barriers Need To Be Broken
Before you implement any program, you might have done some research. Unfortunately, the real-time results are never the same as the projected results. These projected results can create belief barriers, which leads to programs running too long or being stopped too early.
Solution: You will need to establish some flexibility among your program managers and have them understand how the data can change over time. Once you expect the unexpected, you won’t be as stressed out and it will be easier to focus on your goals.
Ineffective Measuring Strategies
One of the biggest problems that we have come across is stubbornness. People tend to be stubborn and they will not change their ways. Many different organizations continuously use the same measuring strategies and occasionally, these can be outdated.
Solution: When you live in the world of NGO and NGO tools, you will be updated with some of the newest tools and strategies. Oftentimes, you simply need to ask for help or study some of the bigger organizations to see how they deal with changing impact measurement strategies.
Lack Of Expert Advice
As a new NGO, you might not have the funds to have an expert assist you in the process. However, experts in the field have adapted with the times and many of them have seen every NGO challenge the world can offer. While you don’t need to make them one of your partners, you can always rely on them for advice.
Solutions: You might need to invest in an expert or perhaps even partner with one of the bigger organizations to give you some advice.
The last and biggest of the lot is money. Regardless of who you are or what you do, money always becomes an issue at some point. For NGOs, it is one of the biggest issues when trying to fund impact measurement programs. However, you should face the situation and invest your funds to see where you can improve.
Solution: Most likely donors will appreciate it if you spend time & energy in measuring impact, & M&E. If investors are not willing to fund these programs, you might need to fund it once or twice. Once you have the data, you can show investors and it could help with convincing them to invest in future endeavors.
Struggling with impact measurement should never determine the full trajectory of your NGO or leave you with sleepless evenings. These are 5 of the most common issues that an NGO needs to deal with, but with these solutions, you will know how to make quick work of them, Let us know in the comment section if there are any other issues that you need help with.
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