5 Social Impact Measurement Frameworks
Impact measurement 101 is one of the basic concepts that every organization needs to come to terms with. Impact measurement can be defined as the quantitative and qualitative measurement of the impact that your projects have.
In the following article, we will look at some of the main methods & theories used to look at impact measurement 101. Impact made on society is nothing if it is not measured. Using impact measurement, one can better understand the impact certain projects have and how sustainable they are.
These are the basic concepts that anyone trying to do impact measurement must know & understand. Once you have a better grasp of the concept, the application is much better in practice.
Top 5 frameworks Of Impact Measurement Explained
To ensure that you have a full understanding of the impact measurement process, you will have to understand these different methods. Each method is a different form of analysis, which applies to organizations. It can also be seen as a different approach or framework used for impact measurement. You will be able to find the one that works the best for you and your specific organization:
1. Counterfactual Analysis Of Impact Measurement
Using a counterfactual analysis is one of the best ways to measure the impact of your organization. The method entails that one will envision the state of affairs if the current project has not been implemented. The counterfactual analysis method is better described as imagining what would be left if a specific project or program is removed.
As an example, you might be running a project that educates people. However, the counterfactual analysis will force you to envision the state of affairs if the project is removed. This is a great way of measuring the current impact based on the rules of omission.
2. Results Chain Perspective
Using the results chain perspective can be more daunting. However, it is also one of the most factual methods you can use. The method entails using measuring different outputs over the short and medium term. It heavily depends on the theory of change that will allow you to use short-term change to project potential long-term change.
For example, using short-term change by starting a feeding scheme can help you understand what the long-term impact on the environment would have. One can gather the data of feeding individuals and you can measure how much the numbers grow to project how many people you might be feeding in the future or over a given period.
3. Without Borders Impact Measurement
Once you have a core set of goals, you can use this method of impact measurement to see if you have different targets that have been reached. Goals can often force us to be satisfied when there is so much more that can be achieved. The “without borders” approach will enable you to break through the invisible ceiling and perhaps set greater goals.
However, the measurement does not only focus on the core goals. In many cases, one can look past the goals and see the differences that the program makes to other aspects.
As an example, one might want to look at changing the poverty level in a certain area. However, you can find out that you have been making the community safer. The subsequent goal that is achieved will give you evidence that the program is effectively working. You can extend the process due to it achieving certain goals that relate to the core goals.
4. Theory Of Change
ToC is a multi-purpose tool that at first was designed to help planning out complex interventions. Since this framework can give more details on how interventions planned could actually work. It helps organizations, from NGOs to social enterprises to charities, to map out or fill in missing links between what a change project does and how it could lead to desired goals being achieved.
Or in a simple way, ToC is a tool that can connect the needs and your path from input to impact. This tool will show the link between important components to understand your
5. Dimensions Of Impact
Impact can be broken down into 5 distinct dimensions, and whilst you are measuring impact, it might be important to keep these in mind. The different dimensions will ensure that you have a framework and approach the impact measurement process by using the framework as a guideline. Here are the 5 dimensions of impact:
- What: You will need to determine what is important and which outcomes you are looking for. The “WHAT” allows you to determine specific goals that need to be achieved.
- Who: Secondly, you will need to determine who will be involved and who will be affected by the impact measurement process.
- How Much: Before one starts, it is important to know how much the costs will be and how much time is needed for the process to be completed.
- Enterprise Contribution: Even when you have an NGO, it is not all about public contributions. You need to understand what your contribution needs to be.
- Risk: Finally, there is always a risk attached to these processes and every impact measurement process might not always be successful.
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If you are just starting with impact measurement it can be unnerving. These basic theories will help you understand the concept & implement them much easier. If you have any questions, feel free to write to us or join our monthly Impact Measurement training.[addthis tool=addthis_horizontal_follow_toolbox]