Reimagining measurement: Enhancing social impact through better monitoring, evaluation, and learning

by Gabriel Kasper; Rhonda Evans; Tony Siesfeld

Oct 13, 2017

Social sector organizations tackle some of the world's most difficult and complex challenges on a daily basis. And, just as in other industries, getting the right data and information at the right time is essential to understanding what an organization needs to achieve, whether it is doing what it set out to do, and what impact its efforts are actually having. Yet, despite marked advances in the tools and methods for monitoring, evaluation, and learning in the social sector, as well as a growing number of bright spots in practice emerging in the field, there is broad dissatisfaction across the sector about how data is -- or is not -- used.

Three straightforward principles -- purpose, perspective, and alignment with other actors -- can help the social sector reinvent its approach to measuring social impact, turning data into an asset that benefits both philanthropic organizations and those they seek to help.