Less, but better and more useful, impact data, please

A couple of articles on measuring the impact of charity activity and social investment, from thinktank NPC.

Why charities should collect less impact data‘ draws on findings from recent research on impact data for criminal justice charities. This identified six ‘ingredients’ for the effective use of evidence, one of which is

  • Fewer, but higher-quality evaluations, particularly focused on innovative services that might help us learn something new.

The article’s author says “It bothers me that so many charities collect data to show they make a difference, while we conspicuously fail to accumulate and share this knowledge in the way the medical profession does.”

quality over quantity … data collection should be focused on what we need to know to tackle social issues, rather than on the needs of individual organisations.

Social investment impact measurement

The Head of Strategy at Big Society Capital writes ‘Does the emperor have no clothes? Standards for social impact measurement‘. Time to move on from “most impact investing impact reports are a celebration not an analysis”?