My name is Kelly McCarthy and I am the Director of Impact Measurement & Management at the Global Impact Investing Network – or GIIN – a nonprofit whose purpose is to increase the scale and effectiveness of impact investing. While we don’t make investments ourselves, we work alongside those who do, along with many other actors seeking to advance impact investing practice and channel more capital to generate positive social and environmental outcomes.
Impact measurement and management (IMM) is core to effective impact investing
Though I am a new entrant to the AEA community, I share the same aim as many others in this forum: To collaborate with those who strive to advance sound IMM and evaluative practices to drive more effective decision-making. In our case, decision-making anchors on using social and environmental data to inform the allocation of investment capital and optimize the potential for it to deliver positive social and environmental results. One way we do this is through our oversight of the publicly available IRIS catalog of social and environmental performance metrics developed with input from evaluation professionals and investment practitioners. Other such ways include working with funds around the world to deepen the IMM capacities of their teams and supporting the growing profession of impact analysts in the financial sector.
To further this aim, as other contributors this week have highlighted, one important focus area for 2017 will be deepening meaningful connection (and action) points between the impact investment community and evaluators and other IMM stakeholders.
Action 1: Translating Existing IMM Practices for Investors
Impact measurement and management often engages diverse implementing stakeholders from a variety of disciplines, including impact analysts, evaluators, and impact investment strategists and decision-makers. As a result a large number and diversity of industry and proprietary IMM approaches (frameworks, ratings, and methodologies) has emerged. From the perspective of many impact investors, this creates confusion, is viewed as lack of consistency in the market, and presents a barrier for effective use of IMM in general.
As a very first step to address this challenge, we are developing a publicly available “map” of existing credible initiatives, methodologies, and assessment tools which are currently in use by – or can be translated to – the investment context (e.g., due diligence, metrics selection, etc.). We welcome you to join the GIIN in these initial efforts to deepen understanding of the appropriateness of different methods for impact investing.
If you or someone you know is interested in contributing to this effort, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Check out GIIN and JP Morgan Chase & Co’s Annual Impact Investor Survey 2016
- Learn more about how impact investors currently use social and environmental data for decision making
- Check out the Business Value of Impact Measurement research on how investors and their investees are deriving value from IMM practices
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 email@example.com. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.