Article by By Anita Fuzi, Lidia Gryszkiewicz, & Dariusz Sikora: “Over the years, many social sector leaders have written about the difficulties of measuring social impact. Over the past few decades, they’ve called for more skilled analysts, the embedding of impact measurement in the broader investment process, and the development of impact measurement roadmaps. Yet measurement remains a constant challenge for the sector.
For once, let’s take a step back instead of looking further forward.
Impact assessments are important tools for learning about effective solutions to social challenges, but do they really make sense when an organization is not fully leveraging its potential to address those challenges and deliver positive impact in the first place? Should well-done impact assessment remain the holy grail, or should we focus on organizations’ ability to deliver impact? We believe that before diving into
The Social Impact Capability Framework
When organizations do not have the right support system and resources in place to create positive social impact, it is unlikely that actual attempts at impact assessment will succeed. For example, measuring an organization’s impact on the local community will not bear much fruit if the organization’s strategy, mission, vision, processes, resources, and values are not designed to support local community involvement in the first place. It is better to focus on assessing impact readiness level—whether an organization is capable of delivering the impact it wishes to deliver—rather than jumping into the impact assessment itself.Examining these seven capability areas can help organizations determine their readiness for creating impact.
To help assess this, we created a diagnostic tool— based on extensive literature review and our advisory experience—that evaluates seven capability areas: strategic framework, process, culture and leadership, structure and system, resources, innovation, and the external environment. Organizations rate each area on a scale from one to five, with one being very low/not important and five being very high/essential. Ideally, representatives from all departments complete the assessment collectively to ensure that everyone is on the same page….(More)”.