Impact Evidencing

In our work developing Social Impact Bonds one of the frequent challenges we and charities who are interested in SIBs face is the lack of quantitative evidence on the effectiveness of their intervention. Good quantitative evidence of the impact of a service is invaluable in making the investment case for a particular model. However, few charities have statistical data that evidences the effectiveness of their program in reducing re-offending.

With the emergence of Social Impact Bonds and outcomes-based commissioning charities need to prioritise work that proves the efficacy of their services. The ethos of these funding models is that money flows to those organisations that deliver the greatest impact. However, for that to occur charities need to build up an evidence-base that gives investors and commissioners confidence in their ability to achieve outcomes.

Yesterday, New Philanthropy Capital (NPC) released a publication for youth justice charities to guide them through the process of evidencing their impact:

http://www.philanthropycapital.org/publications/education/shared_measurement.aspx

This is a valuable guide for organisations who are looking to build an evidence-base for their work.

NPC’s Head of Strategy, Tris Lumley, has also written an article about this report and its applicability to payment by results and Social Impact Bonds in the Guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/voluntary-sector-network/2011/may/11/charities-collaborate-measuring-social-impact

By Emily Bolton, Director at Social Finance

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