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Measuring Social Impact

Page history last edited by Alexandra Pittman 9 years, 7 months ago


Deby Daly and Kathy Brennan. “Measuring Social Impact.” Innovation Network.


This article provides a basic overview for measuring the social impact of programs or projects. The authors highlight the tendency of many individuals to equate impact with the successful implementation of program activities or performance. However, the goal is to create a method for measuring social change as evidenced through an organization’s vision. This involves focusing on the outcomes or changes that you expect to see as a result of your work. 


There are three types of outcomes that describe different types of outcomes: short-term outcomes, which measure changes in attitudes, intermediate outcomes, which measure changes in behavior, and long-term outcomes, which measure changes in conditions. Instead of creating dichotomous measures and targets that define a “successful” outcome, it is helpful to conceptualize outcomes in terms of a continuum of change, ranging from what you expect to see, want to see, and hope to see. 


Indicators can be developed based on quantitative or qualitative measures and address the questions what, who, how much, how many, and when?



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