Breakout Series 3: Impact Assessment

25-May-2016 Return to conference program

11:15am to 12:45pm

Room Z209


Priscilla Boiardi
Knowledge Centre Director
European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA)


Jeremy Nicholls
Chief Executive Officer
Social Value International
Eric Stowe
Founder & Executive Director
Tomohiro Hamakawa
Chief Strategy Officer
Derek Handley
Aera Foundation
Lehui Liang
Associate Director of Investment
Social Ventures Hong Kong
Session Description

Impact Assessment is coming of age. Every funder wants it, every social enterprise or non-profit has to do it and ideally wants it for performance measurement. Several issues an opportunities exist in this mature stage.

  • One, there’s now an abundance of frameworks. In how far are frameworks helpful or are they just imposing unrealistic benchmarks? In addition to this, how well do these frameworks, who often originate in the US/Europe, travel and are applicable to Asian countries with large inequalities in infrastructure, constantly changing environments and different manifestations of poverty, health, ageing etc?
  • Secondly, the amount of information collected can often be burdensome for the social enterprise/SPO. How much is enough? And who is paying for it?
  • Thirdly, often the same data is used for PR and marketing by the funder, and for performance management by the social enterprise. The latter can be an issue as the work in impact assessment and the funding often lies with the social enterprise, while the funder benefits most. Also, for internal purposes and performance management, unaggregated data is sufficient while portfolio managers need to aggregate at the portfolio level. However, alignment may be the key. So what are the needs or purposes for alignment and where is divergence acceptable? How do we deal with the need for individual and aggregated data? Who should pay for the social impact assessment and who gets to benefit?
  • Third, through technology not only big data, but also lean data collection and analysis can be enabled, but is still in its infancy. How can we use technology to collect and analyse efficiently? How can collected data remain insightful despite simple methodologies?

The session aims to map the new mature stage of impact assessment in Asia and globally and then delve into some opportunities at this juncture.

Key Takeaways for Audience
This session aims to:
  • Foster empathy for social enterprises and alignment between funders and social enterprises
  • Hone in on what is needed to gain insights on impact or what moves the needle – frameworks, principles or customized insights?
  • Highlight ways to use lean technology to do impact assessment

*** Session Report – BR3.5: Impact Assessment (Click to download)