How to create measurable impact

New: our toolkit includes a gender lens!

Capturing the true value of impact enterprises in Bangladesh

Impact is the key factor that distinguishes impact enterprises from any other form of business. So what does “impact” really mean? How can it be captured, given that it is not included in market prices today?  THE IMPACT MEASUREMENT AND MANAGEMENT (IMM) TOOLKIT helps impact entrepreneurs and their advisors, trainers and supporters to understand that IMM is something that everyone can do with the right mindset and a little guidance. It is a question of truly listening to and understanding stakeholders’ needs. Our toolkit outlines step-by-step how to plan, implement, and measure activities and their effects, so that impact is maximized for the benefit of all stakeholders in the ecosystem.

Additional Recommended Resources on IMM

Norms by The Impact Management Project

Thousands of practitioners have come together to agree on a shared understanding of impact. Read the consensus or “norms” that provide a common logic to help enterprises and investors understand their impacts on people and the planet, so that they can reduce the negative and increase the positive.

Lean Data by Acumen

Collecting data doesn’t have to be a daunting task. This course by +Acumen shows how Lean Data approaches can measure social impact in an affordable way and, most importantly, give impact enterprises invaluable insights in the mindsets and behavioral patterns of their customers. 

Client-Centric Approach by Root Capital

Root Capital understands that the very methods of evaluation that are key to collecting impact data also threaten to re-entrench the power dynamic that we seek to mitigate in the first place. Therefore, practitioners increasingly perceive impact evaluations to be one among many touchpoints in the customer, employee, or supplier relationship, and as an opportunity for the research to create value for researcher and research participant alike. 

More Customer-Centric Insights from Acumen

Enough with confusing and costly IMM: unsophisticated measurement practice is one of the five biggest constraints to growing the impact investing market. In this article on SSIR, Acumen makes a point that assessing impact doesn’t need to be so challenging, because, at its core, learning about impact is grounded in a pretty simple activity: listening to open and unbiased feedback from customers. 

A Review of the Theory of Change

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) made a detailed, critical review of the not-so-new Theory of Change (ToC). Some of the findings: The ToC requires both logical thinking and deeper critical reflection, makes  assumptions explicit and strategic thinking realistic and transparent. More important insights at the link:

Simple Tools from PPI

The Poverty Probability Index website provides some easy-to-use, Excel-based tools. One example is a tool to compute poverty likelihoods and rates from your survey data, including sample size guidance, benchmarking data, and basic charts. More free tools at the link:

Additional Recommended Resources on Gender Lens

Getting Started – Exercise Sheet

This exercise sheet will provide you with a practical and valuable process to identify and address gender issues within your enterprise. It will guide you to identify and set your Impact Measurement and Management gender lens goals. Download and exercise here:

Misfit Ray Smartband

Understand the experience of women users through the customer journey. Here is a great case about Misfit Ray Smartband and the changes they made to their product, services and user experience once they applied a gender lens approach. Available here:

Case Study Instellar

Instellar provides incubation, advisory, and investment in mission-driven companies in Indonesia. They identified a majority of women participants throughout their portfolio and found large gaps between male and female entrepreneurs. Read the lessons learned from their female-focused incubation program. Dive into it  here:

Acumen Lean Data Gender Tool

Acumen’s guide captures gender impacts across five projects in four countries. It provides you with approaches, surveys and the Lean Data methodology while giving insights both on individual and consolidated levels across all analyzed projects. Check out the wisdom here:

Awareness Training

Service providers working with entrepreneurs need to integrate the gender lens into programs, too. Do you as a facilitator or mentor know how to deliver an inclusive program? If not, or not enough, get inspired with this unique training below:

Gender in Product and Service Design

Do you know how to be gender-inclusive in your product & service design or delivery strategies? Explore this great sheet for ideas and exercises that help you better understand how your current customer journey can be improved to create equal impact for women:

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Checklist for Creating an Inclusive Culture

If you are an impact enterprise or a service provider, this checklist will support you on the journey of creating and promoting a work culture with equal participation and decision across your organization. Check it out here:

Organisational Code of Conduct

If you want to learn what an organisational code of conduct looks like with a gender lens, have a look at this example. LSE Generate in partnership with Genderscope created an example of such organisational conduct. Download here:

Mentor-Mentee Code of Conduct

Have you ever considered power dynamics that may occur when pairing different genders to learn from each other? If not, make them explicit. This resource will provide a suggested mentor/mentee code of conduct, outlining a set of rules around how to identify negative power dynamics. Smart yourself up now: