The latest global trends in social impact measurement, management
Did you know that 62% of companies mentioned the SDGs in their reporting, 37% of companies selected priority SDGs, 79% of companies that prioritized the SDGs chose SDG 13 Climate Action, 28% of companies set quantitative targets and linked these to societal impact? (Source: SDG Reporting Challenge 2017) In other words, many companies are starting to align with UN SDG Goals, but are they moving beyond simple impact washing? While there are multiple impact frameworks, standards, and tools available today, most organizations are still struggling to understand and communicate their impact.
Millennials are much more impact savvy than previous generations. They are asking hard questions beyond the simple composition of portfolios. How are you creating
Looking back, in 1994, when I worked at TIBCO/Reuters where we championed and revolutionized software integration based on publish/subscribe which is now ubiquitous and fundamental to any corporate application's integration. Back then our premise was - create a software bus (similar to Intel’s Hardware Bus). This allowed us to create
How can we scale with
Last three years we have been experimenting and collecting feedback from hundreds of social sector companies, working with multiple standard bodies, and bringing in our experience to solve the challenge of building flexible integration for the entire impact ecosystem.
SoPact Impact Cloud simplifies all the impact jargon using simple impact search engine aligning Theory of Change (TOC) and Impact Management Project (IMP). Simplify metrics selection aligned with Sustainable Development Goals, IRIS, GRI, and build custom metrics based on your internal goals, and targets. Drive a lifecycle of impact framework, progress monitoring, and reporting with individuality and flexibility.
In Uniting the Impact Ecosystem: A Call for End-to-End Impact Management, we introduce impact ecosystems players. Three key layers are Asset Owners, Asset Managers, and Assets.
In the following
According to Impact Management Project - A Guide to Mapping the Impact of an Investment, "Asset owners are increasingly interested in the impact of their investments on society and the environment. Against this backdrop of growing interest from asset owners, asset managers are increasingly looking to assess and communicate the effects of investments on people and planet." For Asset owners there is no single linear impact management process; the process is iterative, with different entry points.
Impact Management project defines five dimensions of the impact for the each of its effect on people or planet: intended and unintended, positive and negative. For each effect, level of performance is evaluated for all five dimension
The real challenge is that that investor should use a data-driven approach to assess the impact. This is where impact cloud provides a flexible foundation of cross-reference services that allows the evaluator to assess results based on both external and internal data.
Figure: Working Example from Impact Management Project: Evaluation process for each effect based on a data-driven process.
As investors gather better asset-based evaluation a next task is to map their existing portfolio and then, over time, a transition that portfolio to be impactful in the way that best suits their intentions and constraints.
The ultimate goal is to define a portfolio that maps all the assets that help communicate two most important questions:
During the last ten year, we have seen a rise in leading frameworks from the theory of change, impact management project. We have also seen a lot of standards starting with Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and IRIS/GRI etc. While these standards and framework are a good starting point, they are not sufficient to truly understand the impact of assets. There are other initiatives from the UN, OECD, and TONIIC to build an integrated framework. For example, TONIIC’s T-100 provides a cross-linking between Impact Management, SDG, and IRIS.
While these are definition is useful, they still have few limitations --
Unfortunately, many investors use this reference but they have to streamline the process on their own. SoPact Impact Cloud provides a theory of change (TOC) & impact management (IMP) project driven
Impact Cloud integrates SDG, IRIS & Impact Management framework defined by OCED, IRIS, and TONIIC. In fact, we take a step forward, by integrating a flexible metrics catalog that not only provides enriched metadata at the metrics level but also cross-link SDG goals, targets and indicators with GRI and IRIS. On top of that, each of the SDG targets can create a hybrid standard and custom metrics allowing each asset to define impact (and context) metrics. This theory of change based approach allows asset managers and the
The key to the success of impact measurement & management is that the process aligned with
Most Asset Managers today still aggregate results from the assets in excel based manual process. They often have a pseudo impact data aggregation framework, which requires investee or grantee to provide a data on a regular basis. Many even use B-Labs based B-Assessment approach. While they provide IRIS based framework to aggregate results most feel that this approach is too limited.
B-Assessment based approach might be useful to few especially GIIRS rating, most investees think that this approach does not convey necessary context. Second, the questions presented in the form for IBM Rating, pigeon holes to a rigid approach. Finally social and
The best data aggregation
Impact Cloud reporting provides built-in widgets that beautifully provides an integrated theory of change, impact management reporting combined with portfolio or fund level automatic reporting. The story-driven wizards allow dynamic table, charts combined with integrated impact learning and narratives from social media feeds.
Impact measurement to management enables funders to make better decisions based on a reliable and effective process.
Curious about what other setting up actionable impact management framework? Get a free copy of this e-book with 4 impact measurement experts.
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