This is the second in a series of blogposts related to the often challenging topic of impact measurement. Read our first post on how we think about impact at ChangeX and identify the key outcomes for each of the ideas here.
As we have been figuring out how to measure impact at ChangeX over the last few years, nothing has proved as valuable as talking to our community of social entrepreneurs, funders and advisors, and learning from their extensive experience in the field. Two people that we’re particularly grateful to for their help in thinking much more deeply about how we measure impact are Karabi Acharya at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Mary-Lee Rhodes at Trinity College Dublin (both of whom recommended some of the resources below).
There are some great reading and resources out there that I found particularly helpful in learning more about this area. Here are just a few of them:
- The Impact Management Project is a global network of leading organisations that are coordinating efforts to accelerate widespread impact measurement and management. This is an amazing resource with lots of practical templates and models.
- How do we know if impact has occurred? Understanding and using evidence of impact – part of the Impact Management Project Resources, this is a very helpful guide to assessing evidence.
- The article What Constitutes “Good” Evidence for Public Health and Social Policy-making? From Hierarchies to Appropriateness (Justin O. Parkhurst & Sudeepa Abeysinghe (2016)) explores some of the differences between evidence in public health and in social policy.
- Standard of Evidence – An approach that balances the need for evidence with innovation – I found this particularly helpful in thinking through the ChangeX approach to measuring impact as it’s very pragmatic and practical.
- Power of Lean Data from the Stanford Social Innovation Review – inspiring how we think about how to close the feedback loop on how people are really benefiting from the ideas on ChangeX.
- The Lean Data Field Guide by Acumen – a practical guide to gathering data in an efficient and effective way. You might also want to sign up to the free online class on Lean Data.
- An ongoing source of inspiration for us is the work done at the University of Wisconsin on building the County Health Rankings and at NYU on building the City Health Dashboard.