How is impact actually achieved? Firstly, you need to make a plan. But how do you prove that you’ve made an impact? You have to measure it.
Our Project Fundamentals I: Strategy, Delivery and Evaluation course, which is offered in partnership with Richmond University, will teach you how to develop your own strategy for creating an impact and how to collect and analyse data that shows whether this impact has been achieved.
If you’d like to take it a step further, and gain insight into how to get the word out about an impact project and raise funds to finance it, join our Project Fundamentals II course.
Skills you’ll acquire
After completing this course you’ll be able to:
- Design two different kinds of measurement projects, a monitoring project and evaluation project, and know which is appropriate to use in different
- Develop a strategy for an impact-focused initiative, project or organisation
- Know how to set impact metric and performance indicators
- Understand how to set up a data collection project.
Is this course for you?
This course, and our Project Fundamentals II course, is designed for anyone looking to get into the nitty-gritty of contributing to real-world impact projects. This specific course is for those who would like to know how to create an effective plan for creating an impact and how to measure this impact. This includes everyone from high school, college or graduate students who’d like to found a social enterprise to corporate professionals who’ve been tasked with designing a new project aligned to environmental or social objectives. Retired seniors who’d like to set up a purpose-driven initiative in their community are also welcome to join this course.
First, learn the difference between a traditional strategy, one that is thought through before you take action, and one that develops as you take action and can be adapted to changing conditions. Learn the importance of experimentation and pattern recognition in this second approach to a strategy.
Then, learn about the different tools that can be used to design a strategy. These include market mapping, plotting your initiative, analysing competing initiatives according to values important to stakeholders, and finally, a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis.
Finally, you’ll learn how to create visual representations of your strategy using the Theory of Change (ToC) framework and the logic model. Use the ToC framework to create a broad overview of how an initiative will achieve the suggested impact. Then, zoom in on aspects of your ToC diagram using the logic model, listing how suggested activities, inputs, outputs, and expected outcomes all work together. You’ll also explore some of the benefits, disadvantages and limitations of both frameworks.
Go on to learn how to measure impact. Explore the difference between metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). Learn the difference between quantitative indicators, those that can be measured with numbers, and qualitative indicators, those that provide more information about trends and themes by using words. Find out how to formulate these indicators, set up baselines from which to measure change and set targets based on the available resources, duration and scope of the initiative.
Discuss the advantages and the challenges of a range of data-collection methods from surveys to participatory methods such as focus groups and interviews. Develop a system for data collection listing roles and responsibilities. Then, talk about the benefits of cutting-edge innovations in data collection and analysis such as big data and predictive analytics, and risks such as the need to ensure privacy.
Learn the difference between monitoring and evaluation (M&E). While monitoring is an ongoing internal process used to assess progress made towards intended goals, evaluation is an external independent assessment that often involves extensive analysis. Familiarise yourself with common challenges experienced with M&E projects such as the availability and the quality of data.
Lastly, you’ll find out how to set up a monitoring and evaluation plan. This will include: getting to grips with the three key parts of a monitoring system: process and outcome measures, the observational system and regular feedback on performance and learning about the necessary criteria of an evaluation plan, effectiveness, efficiency, sustainability, impact and relevance, as listed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
You’ll wrap up the learning of the above concepts, by discussing all these theories in the context of real-life case studies, helping you to ground your understanding in the practical realities of fieldwork.
To find out more about this and other GVI Courses, please follow this link.