|Organization Name:||cbm Canada|
|Project Title:||Measuring Impact Project|
|Purpose of Investment:||To develop, test and roll out a tool designed to measure the long-term impact of international development programs and to report that impact to donors.|
Every donor wants to know that when they give charitably, they have stewarded their God-given resources well. Not only do they want assurance that their gift was spent as promised in the short term, they also want to know the long term impact of their investment. Typically, charitable projects are set up with a plan, including specific goals. For example, serve X number of children with X number of medical interventions. When the plan is completed, the project is deemed a success. What isn’t measured nearly as often is the long-term impact of the interventions or activities. We need to ask questions like, how has the life of an individual child been changed – not just physically, but emotionally, socially, spiritually? How does that change affect their future? Are there any unanticipated complications that prevent positive change in a life in the mid or long term? Has the family been affected positively or negatively? Has the community been changed?
Take Bernard. For years, you’d find him living on the edge – on the edge of his community, that is. Born with club foot that went untreated, he began to walk on the sides of his feet – slowly and painfully. Excluded from games of kick ball, excluded from school activities, he watched longingly from the edge. And he began to think that his condition was his fault. That life would never change. Bernard had no idea how much his life would change after club foot surgery. He expected that once his feet were straight he’d be able to walk without pain. But it turns out that was the least of the impact. Bernard went from living on the edge to engaging in life like a regular 6 year old. Today, he’s going to school, playing with his friends and doing his part at home. Most important is the change in his heart. No longer does he see himself as unworthy of love – he feels that he is loved and valued. The change in Bernard’s heart goes far beyond the medical intervention. And that is what we are trying to measure.
The purpose of our proposed research is to dig deeper and measure the long term-impact of our work using a systematic, evidence based method – a series of intentional questions asked directly to the recipients of our programs. We’ve defined impact to be transformational heart-change for individuals, specifically children, living in poverty with the added challenge of a disability or disabling condition. We believe the most powerful change agent for someone caught in the cycle of poverty and disability is positive self image. The belief that he or she is a loved child, a friend-worthy classmate, an included neighbour. During this project, we’ll work with an experienced researcher to design our Impact Measurement Tool, taking into account lead and lag indicators that tell us we’re supporting the most important programs..That our programs are accomplishing good beyond the actual intervention. And, we’ll be able to share with donors the beautiful impact that their gifts are having in hearts.
- Research and develop draft one of our Impact Measurement Tool, using a small sample of in-depth client interviews at various stages of the life cycle (December, 2018)
- Pilot the Impact Measurement Tool with a significant, multi-site sample client group, to validate our key impact indicators and refine the Impact Measurement Tool (April, 2019)
- Prepare a comprehensive report summarizing the pilot study purpose, design, methodology, findings, challenges and limitations (June, 2019)
- Finalize Impact Measurement Tool and roll out to existing overseas partners (September, 2019)
- Design and post an infographic of our theory of change on our website (December, 2019)