The latest edition of Impact magazine looks under the hood to see how NGOs, donors, charity watchdogs and corporations measure impact and what role measurement plays in decision-making. Read the introduction from editor Marshall Stowell below and see all the articles here.
In this issue of Impact we look under the hood to see how NGOs, donors, charity watchdogs and corporations measure impact and what role measurement plays in decision-making.
Answering 7 Questions, Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab’s Rachel Glennester discusses the benefit of randomized evaluation and offers NGOs some sage advice, “Be willing to change things, mix things up a bit, not be too scared to try something different”.
Tom Murphy explores the debate on overhead vs. impact. Art Taylor, President and CEO of BBB Wise Giving Alliance, Jacob Harold, President and CEO of Guidestar, and Ken Berger, President and CEO of Charity Navigator write, “The percent of charity expenses that go to administrative and fundraising costs – commonly referred to as “overhead” – is a poor measure of a charity’s performance.” A move in that direction would make heeding Rachel’s advice a lot more likely for many – giving NGOs greater latitude to spend funds on research and innovation.
The Center for Global Development’s Amanda Glassman discusses practical recommendations to help global health funders maximize their impact on health – or, in her words, “get more health for their money”.
Jodi Nelson, Director of Strategy Measurement and Evaluation at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, makes a compelling case for putting data front and center in the post-2015 agenda. She also shares the foundation’s new evaluation policy.
We also explore the range of ways some of the world’s leading NGOs measure impact. In her piece, PSI’s Kim Longfield sets context for NGO measurement as “stakeholders want to invest increasingly scarce resources where they will have the most impact.”
Four leading corporations have more in common than one might imagine when it comes to measuring corporate social responsibility efforts and their philanthropic investments. The bottom line is that it’s becoming more closely linked to the bottom line. As John Lloyd of the LBG states, “community investment is becoming more strategic and more focused.” For many, it’s now being integrated into broader business goals.
Ehren Reed, Research and Evaluation Officer at the Skoll Foundation, shares three innovative examples outside of global health from a project measuring the success of a nation to a tool for companies to measure and disclose performance to the Ecological Footprint, which measures humanity’s demand on nature in comparison to available biocapacity. Ehren’s piece reminds us to look beyond our industry for innovative models.
What’s coming next for Impact? Our year-end issue will be released online and will once again look at the top moments in global health of the past year. We’re compiling our list but want to hear from Impact readers what you think the year’s most important moments were. You can email me directly at email@example.com or visit the Impact blog and share your thoughts.