How to use impact measurement

Two new Working Papers from TSRC report on new research on the use of impact measurement tools by third sector organisations. Together they provide a useful summary of recent developments in the field, as well as identifying practical guidance for organisations and funders.

Arvidson and Kara (Putting evaluations to use: from measuring to endorsing social value, Working Paper 110) focus on the role that impact measurement can play in helping organisations and commissioners identify the social value produced by organisations in delivering services.

This is important now because the recent Social Value Act requires public service commissioners to take this into account, without giving them any formal guidance on what this is or how to do it. The research explores this recent policy context and assesses the role that six of the leading impact measurement frameworks can play in helping organisations to identify and articulate this. It concludes that, even though not all focus explicitly on social value, they can help organisations to highlight the social values linked to their activities.

Metcalf's research (Measuring impact: How can TSOs make sense of a rapidly expanding marketplace of tools?, Working Paper 111) takes a broader look at the range of impact measurement tools available to third sector organisations, and provides guidance on selecting and using these based on analysis of some of their main features.

The analysis focuses in particular on the Online Marketplace, which is being developed by Substance for the Inspiring Impact network and includes information about over 130 different impact measurement tools through an online format.

Posted on Tuesday 29th October 2013