Getting beyond impact

Some interesting developments in the debate about measuring impact, in particular around Social Return On Investment (SROI) – and some lessons from microfinance.

A new report by the Third Sector Research Centre, comments that SROI “leaves ample room for judgement”, that it is not a good basis for comparing different organisations and that it “provides a weak basis for understanding how and why impacts occur”. Oh dear. Continue reading

Keystone Partner Survey: powerful new data on NGOs’ performance

If an NGO funds and supports local partners, how do you assess if it is doing a good job? Simple: ask them. It’s not the only way to measure performance, but it’s got to get you most of the way there. Better still, bring together a group of NGOs and use the same questions to ask their partners to rate each NGO’s performance. Then compare answers, so you can tell which NGO is doing better in which areas and which worse.

That’s exactly what Keystone did with their Partner Survey. (Disclosure: I was the project manager for this project and the report’s principal author.) The report was launched this month. It has two major findings: Continue reading