News & Insights
To better understand its impact, Global Partnerships joins international network ANDE
What do we mean by impact? We have served over two million people through our partners since our founding in 1994. What does that mean? Are those two million+ individuals no longer poor? Are they better educated? Using solar lights? Have lower rates of diabetes? Earning a stable income? Or all of the above? And if so, how do we get data to prove that impact?
The truth is that we struggle to answer questions about our impact. And we’re not alone in our struggle. Many other organizations face the same challenges. Impact measurement and evaluation are very difficult to accomplish. They have also been popular topics of discussion within the social sector (see here, here and here) as well as at GP (see here, here and here). To learn how to measure and evaluate our impact better, last month we joined the Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs (ANDE).
ANDE provides opportunities for its 200+ members (social organizations including Acumen, Skoll Foundation and Root Capital) to discuss strategic challenges and opportunities associated with impact measurement and evaluation*. For example: When is it appropriate for nonprofits to measure their impact? What metrics should we capture? What can we infer from the metrics? These questions and more will undoubtedly come up this week at ANDE’s Metrics from the Ground Up conference. Our Director of Research and Impact Tara Murphy Forde is attending the conference and will share her insights on our blog later this month.
ANDE also provides guidance to its member organizations, helping them develop their strategy for impact measurement and evaluation. Furthermore, ANDE is a partner of the IRIS initiative, a catalog of social performance metrics intended to provide a common framework for impact measurement.
Developing a framework to measure and evaluate GP's impact will be a long and iterative process. But it’s very important that we do it because it will help us understand whether or not we’re making progress toward our mission of expanding opportunity for people living in poverty. Tapping into ANDE’s robust network, resources and knowledge-sharing opportunities will help us get there and do it right. We look forward to keeping you informed of our efforts along the way.
*Improving impact measurement and evaluation is one aspect of ANDE’s programmatic work. ANDE’s broader mission is to propel entrepreneurship in emerging markets as a method of eradicating poverty. “ANDE members provide critical financial, education, and business support services to small and growing business (SGB’s) based on the conviction that SGB’s will create jobs, stimulate long-term economic growth, and produce environmental and social benefits.” Learn more at aspeninstitute.org/ande.