Measuring CSOs Impact (and surviving to tell about it in a blog!)


Impact measurement for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) should be focused on answering a crucial question: Are the CSOs making progress towards achieving their missions? Readers familiar with the sector would immediately think of missions such as ‘eradicate poverty’, ‘universal education for children’, ‘defense of human rights’, or ‘ensure the protection of the global environment’. How can a single organisation measure its impact toward those ambitious and complex overarching goals for change?

If that wasn’t a great challenge by itself, there are other questions and concerns that CSOs aim to address when measuring their impact, such as ‘how can we demonstrate we have done a good job and have used resources wisely so that the people and communities we work for and with, donors, partners and other stakeholders keep trusting us’? Also, CSOs face a challenge demonstrating ‘To what degree have we progressed on bringing about the desired change, communicating about it with stakeholders and seeking feedback to correct actions’?

In the Impact Measurement Peer Advice Group (IMPAG) that Accountable Now and Amnesty International led in 2020/2021, several Accountable Now members unpacked these questions.

In this blog series, Natalia Gubionni reflects on the conversations, connecting the dots from insights from participants, and suggesting good practices in each of the four themes addressed in the IMPAG,:

  • Contribution vs. attribution
  • Identifying impact indicators
  • Impact culture awareness,
  • Impact sharing and learning

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Accountable Now is committed to promoting a more just, equitable & accountable world. Do you have a story to share that demonstrates how organisations can strengthen their dynamic accountability practices?