(NOTE: The links from this article refer to pages that are currently only available in Finnish)
Finnish association for social enterprises ARVO has partnered during the recent years partnered with a range of high-profile impact investing and developing partners – such as ME-Säätiö – in an impact measurement development project called Hyvän Mitta (Measure for Good). The project has had an ambitious aim: to develop common tools for impact measurement to be used by the impact ecosystem in Finland.
Measuring Good since 2016
Since 2016, the project has done systematic work on this theme. The results of the development phase 1 are already visible. On top of the 12 case organizations’ impact assessment reports, an outline of the work done and findings of the impact assessments can be found now in the project’s materials.
Phase 2 of the development work is still ongoing. There are new pilot organizations involved, and more defined work done in their impact measurement. As the first phase introduced a new impact modelling tool, the Impact Chain, work is now being done to put this model into action.
Impact Chain – a model for systematic impact work
Impact Chain is a systematic framework for measuring impact. As it defines the society’s NEED and an organizations VISION and GOAL on how to meet this need, takes into account the RESOURCES and ACTIONS of an organization, and goes on the follow up on the RESULTS and IMPACT, all the way back comparing these to the original need – it gives an interesting, comprehensive yet quite simple-to-use basis for impact work.
From data chains to impact stories
The beauty and potential of this kind of systematic framework, if used as an everyday tool in leading for impact, is the way it may help an organization to streamline their data. As data is gathered from each part of the chain, and organized in a systematic manner, it eventually forms a data chain.
There’s naturally a lot of work behind all this impact modelling and data gathering. But when done in an careful manner, prizes might make them well worth it. Better decisions can be made, based on measured facts, on how to use the organizations resources and what kind of actions to take to make the impact even wider. And not only that. Impact communication – telling your own story of change, the logic of how the impact is achieved – becomes much easier. Data chains can be turned into stories of impact.
After the good has been measured, it’s time to tell the impact stories. In an engaging and informative way, by using modern media. The latest work package of Hyvän Mitta project, Vaikuttavuusvideo – Impact Video – was launched in June 2019, to do just that. Here, research is done on how and where the Finnish impact producers are communicating their impact. Impact producer’s capabilities to communicate their impact is developed, and piloting will be done on how to – in a most impactful way – communicate social impact on video. A short overview of the project aims can be found in English from the producer’s website, and more info in campaign site vaikuttavuusvideo.fi.
Measuring the Good
In short, measuring the good is all about cooperation, systematic leadership and modelling of impact, gathering relevant data, and eventually telling the impact story. For impact investors, customers, employees, partners and audiences of difference kinds, it’s ultimately about getting to know what kind of social change is really taking place and where.
Keep your hearts and minds open – proven impact coming up!