This is Karim Harji and Ted Jackson from ET Jackson & Associates, and our contribution on social impact measurement (SIM) focuses on training and curriculum development for evaluators and practitioners.
Training and Cross-Sector Collaboration
Impact investing – a field that has seen much growth over the last decade, through a combination of strategic grant making and industry development – is steadily gaining attention and traction.. While this is new terrain for evaluators, there are several resources on both impact investing and impact measurement, and strategies for evaluators, for engaging in this area.
In collaboration with several African institutions – the CLEAR Centre at Wits University and Greater Capital in South Africa; and the Venture Capital Trust Fund, GIMPA Centre for Impact Investing, and the Institute for Policy Alternatives in Ghana – together with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation and IDRC, we developed and delivered executive education training workshops in Ghana and South Africa.
These workshops not only brought evaluators, practitioners and policymakers, but also stimulated cross-sector conversation on the relevance of measurement. Participants shared approaches and tools for their local contexts, and emphasized the need for greater cross-sector collaboration among investors, fund managers, social enterprises, evaluators and governments.
Developing Curriculum and Resources
Inspired by these sessions and the range of perspectives that were represented, we designed an open source curriculum on “Evaluating Impact Investing”. The course is built around three broad themes—building the field of impact investing, measuring the success of impact investments, and understanding the special issues emanating from the African context.
Impact investing in Africa is characterized by much dynamism, and as such, the course consists of 24 different modules – on topics such as Evaluation Approaches, Standards, Global Goals, Household Impacts, Negative Outcomes, and Evaluation Costs – with supporting notes, examples, case profiles, exercises and readings. We explore the use of well-known approaches such as Theory of Change, as well as contextual adaptations for engaging with the private sector.
This curriculum is a resource that we hope that academic organizations and evaluation networks can use and adapt for their own needs. That said, there is much more to be done, including more case studies authored by African researchers, and evaluation tools that are adapted for use within each region. We welcome contributions and suggestions from evaluators, as well as those who are designing and delivering training and education in evaluation.
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The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Social Impact Measurement Week with our colleagues in the Social Impact Measurement Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our SIM TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to firstname.lastname@example.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.