In order to solve the societal challenges around us, we need to know which interventions work and which don’t. This is why effective impact measurement is key. It allows us to understand whether we’re investing our efforts and resources in the right direction. It’s the language of accountability, proof that can attract clients, funders and staff, a path to effective decision-making.
While most organizations are aware of the importance of impact measurement, they struggle to find the resources to create an internal impact measurement framework or to hire a consultant to do it. Other priorities, such as the needs of the beneficiaries or finding funding, often take a higher priority, making it difficult to sustain quality impact measuring. Lack of solid impact proof not only keeps the organizations from developing better programs and products, but it also makes scaling and attracting large investments nearly impossible.
To tackle this problem, we’re launching the project “Strengthening Impact Measurement within Civil Society Organisations''. We’ll partner up with two member organizations - one from Latvia, Civic Alliance - Latvia, and one from Ukraine, Social Economy Ukraine. We will give them access to the tools and materials in our Reach for Change Toolkit Platform, train them how to measure their own impact, and then empower them to deliver training to their member organizations themselves. The project is funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers and will be ongoing from June 2023 until February 2024.
In times of war, impact measurement becomes an even more critical lifeline for social entrepreneurs and social economy organizations.
“At Social Economy Ukraine, we believe that impact measurement isn't just a tool; it's a powerful compass that guides us towards meaningful change. In the midst of crisis and uncertainty, this project embodies our commitment to transparency, accountability and social progress as we strive to build a better, more inclusive future for all Ukrainians.” - shares Petro Darmoris, Director of Social Economy Ukraine on their motivation to join the project as partners.
“Civil Society Organizations strive to create positive social change, yet often face challenges in measuring and effectively communicating their social impact to stakeholders. Social impact measurement is a vital tool to enhance their effectiveness, accountability, and sustainability” - adds Kristine Zonberga, Director, Civic Alliance - Latvia on the importance of the project.
Both Civic Alliance - Latvia and Social Economy Ukraine are vital to a thriving social ecosystem within their countries. Civic Alliance - Latvia has over 138 members, making up a total of approximately 70,000 individuals or 70% of all people involved in the nonprofit sector in Latvia. Social Enterprise Ukraine, while still in its early stage of development, already has 52 members and that number is constantly growing.
The project will consist of two modules:
Module 1 will focus on training both organizations in impact measurement tools. The first module will focus on developing a Theory of Change - this includes analyzing the problem using the Problem Tree Method; developing an initial solution description; mapping the target group; and developing an Impact Result Chain. The training will also explore how indicators can be selected, how an organization can develop a plan for data collection, and training on a selection of qualitative and quantitative tools for impact measurement.
In Module 2, the training will focus on a “train the trainers” approach. We will build the capacity of Civic Alliance - Latvia and Social Economy Ukraine on how to train their member organizations to use the same tools.