First of all, let’s ask ourselves the question, why does it make sense to measure, quantify impact at all? Impact aims for system and behavioural change on a long-term perspective. Measuring the results of our efforts and creating reports to summarize them…
serves as confirmation and feedback to your internal and external stakeholders,
demonstrates a close connection with the vision of the company, a clear direction
and therefore, improves the efficiency of the organization.
There is a very wide range of activities for measuring impact and wonderful tools (see some examples below) to make that happen. However, there is no common or universal recipe which matches all projects’ impact to be quantified.
In order to measure your projects’ impact, you will need to dedicate time to finding that particular tool to fit your needs, or actually create your own system for measurement.
The good news is, there are five universal steps which you can take to create your own impact measurement system.
1. Plan: sit down and plan exactly what and how we want to measure.
Tip 1: It might be hard to quantify what you would like to measure. Here the data collecting technique is essential; we can define our own indicators by checking literature, similar organizations and their measuring system, or choose qualitative tools for soft data collections.
Tip 2: Reach out to someone who is familiar in research / academics / evaluation to have a second opinion on your impact measurement plan.
2. Do: collect data regularly for this measurement, especially on key stakeholders and how your operation is affecting their lives.
3. Evaluate: organize data and draw conclusions from them.
4. Iterate: based on the results, improve your operation and measuring system to get better and better.
5. Share: make sure to communicate your results to the right stakeholders.
Some popular already existing impact measuring tools: