We had a productive year of holding our Impact Data Chat Series. In 2022, we held 5 events and brought together hundreds of people across the philanthropic, nonprofit, investor, corporate and evaluation communities. We did deep dives into:
Storytelling with data
Data to track sustainability
Using data to support fundraising
Data visualizations for social impact, and
Using data for advocacy
In order to support resource sharing on monitoring, evaluation and learning in the social impact sector, we compiled this list resources from the 5 events. Check out the methods, tools, and theoretical frameworks that can support us to identify, track and measure more impactful and actionable insights when it comes to the social and climate issues we all care about.
Behavioral Health Design Playbook: Created by the Board of Innovation, this playbook provides a behavioral design framework to achieve patient-centric solutions with a unique perspective. Along with tools to identify value propositions that challenge the status quo and create systemic impact.
InsightShare. Participatory video and storytelling for impact.
Participatory photography is a really useful method, particularly for stakeholders who might communicate better in ways other than speech (e.g. hearing impaired).
Data Feminism is a book by Catherine D'Ignazio and Lauren F. Klein. “It offers strategies for data scientists seeking to learn how feminism can help them work toward justice, and for feminists who want to focus their efforts on the growing field of data science.”
Visualizing Change. A guide for coding and tracking change in stories for donors and nonprofits by Alexandra Pittman, ImpactMapper Founder and CEO. This was written in 2015, so all visuals are from an earlier version of ImpactMapper, we have a different look and feel now.
Participatory Action Research: This approach puts the power of research in the hands of the community you are serving by centering their insights. Training community members allows a greater depth of research as peers are able to obtain information that researchers are not.
Peacebuilding indicators and database. There are indicators around the following seven areas: Dispute Resolution, Governance, Perceptions of Safety & Security, Resilience, Trust, Social Cohesion, and Violence Reduction.
Collective storytelling and aggregate analysis of impact of women's rights movement/orgs building: We are missing out on a wealth of information because qualitative data is unstructured, by taking texts and stories and quantifying them into nuanced dataset we will be able to leverage long term impact data. ImpactMapper Key To Change Project: https://www.impactmapper.com/sdg5-projects/initial-report
Software tools for mapping and impact analysis
No-coding tool for data visualization, Raw Graphs.
ImpactMapper, software to track and visualize grantmaking, project and reporting data. It allows you to do qualitative and mixed method analysis. You can enter and analyze text data and reports, Excel data, and we have our own survey and visualization tools for social impact tracking and storytelling.
Aggregate Intellect in Toronto. https://ai.science/ (Often for developers to help build products faster).
Internal Organizational Tools
Tools that can be implemented internally to better resource and track progress and ultimately, impact.
A Newsletter: a simple monthly newsletter to highlight impacts your company has made. This can be sent externally but also internally to motivate and increase transparency among departments and team members.
Microportal on Website: Space on your website to share articles and resources and document old and new lessons. This ensures a list of resources that can be referred to to learn about the space and also ensures new team members do not miss out on lessons from the past.
What We Learn Newsletter: A periodic outlet to share articles, evaluations, initiatives around your learning agenda. Materials are produced by you, but can also be curated from partners or thought leaders. Example: What We Learn - Jacobs Foundation https://jacobsfoundation.org/en/what-we-learn/
Ways to Present and Visualize Data
Resources and strategies shared in the Impact Data Chat for presenting data to support fundraising efforts.
Infographics and Creative visualization of a problem or social issue: Creative visuals that surface issues and data trends can be used to illustrate the depth of a problem to inspire people to take action. For example Mona Chalabi visualizes research and data related to current social conversations in artistic, fun and creative ways that inform, create awareness and also encourage you to take action. https://www.instagram.com/monachalabi/?hl=en
Case studies: Case studies, and especially visual impact stories, can help organizations tell their story in a data driven way that humanizes their key wins. You can use quotes, videos and contextualize impact numbers, adding voice and character to traditional reporting. Here are some examples of case studies that ImpactMapper has produced to show the power of impact storytelling through visual case studies.
Articulating your value and unique contributions: to a change process with stories and data. The ImpactMapper Evaluation of Charge, uses data trends and case studies of businesses to illustrate their unique contributions.
Vignettes: Quotes and vignettes can be a powerful way to show how lives have changed through the #interventions that you are seeking funding for. You can use key quotes from nonprofit leaders, sharing life stories or stories of impact. An example can be found in the Report on the Personal Status of Women in Westchester.
One Page Summary: Create a one page visual summary to communicate report or evaluation key findings These documents are effective when they are not dense with text and instead have graphics
Using learning exchanges to build relationships
In person exchanges allow groups to articulate impact and lessons learned in more meaningful and contextualized ways compared to reports.
Interactions allows for relationship building between #funders and #grantees and opens the door for honest engagement and stronger collaboration.
In addition, ImpactMapper holds learning events at their retreat center Havn in the Norwegian fjords. https://www.havnhus.no
Tips from the Community:
In addition to sharing resources, we had a great discussion around tips when conducting evaluations for impact.
Get back to basics of gathering data that can be used and that provides insights on strategy and implementation.
Stop producing logic models or theories of change that are too detailed and do not give you the data you need to make decisions on: -your strategy -how you might implement more effectively -how you might engage, advocate and be influential in the ecosystem -connect with the right communities and partners to make change happen -make sure to define terms, especially in cross-cultural and cross-national evaluation or research work.
Terms and language matters.Translations can change the meaning of concepts and outcomes you want to track. Linguistic, cultural and social barriers to effective measurement are all issues that we need to have on our minds when we're working cross culturally. Some steps you can take include
Engage the participation of stakeholders/communities at multiple phases, but especially in the designing phase of the overarching theory of change/logframe.
Engage the community when you're developing instruments to make sure that you have definitional issues and measures aligned with the community's understanding.
Create processes for people to define success on their own terms without necessarily having indicators come from the top down.
Use all of your data, especially the qualitative data.