Last month, Social Impact Measurement Network Australia (SIMNA) facilitated an interactive learning event “Data and Dashboards: How can Technology Improve Social Impact Measurement?”.
This event stimulated discussions around use of technology in streamlining and adding rigor to social outcomes measurement.
On the panel were SIMNA’s Ross Wyatt, Mick Cronin manager of the YMCA Victoria Bridge Project (Winner of the 2014 SIMNA Awards for Innovation in Social Impact Measurement), Socialsuite’s Damian Hajda, and Kateryna Andreyeva from Social Ventures Australia.
Mick shared with the group his experience with using the Socialsuite technology platform for the Bridge Project’s outcomes measurement and reporting, while Damian provided insight on how Socialsuite worked with the Project on implementation and roll-out. Kateryna reflected on key factors for organisations to consider when they decide to utilise technology to embark on their outcomes measurement journey.
There was overall consensus across the panel and workshop participants that outcomes data collection plans are always fluid and subject to change. Technology-based social outcomes measurement tools will need to be flexible enough to support these changes, which would otherwise cause headaches for organisations who are attempting to manage change using manual and paper-based approaches.
Another key take-away was the importance of staff buy in, particularly on creating awareness of the “bigger picture” or “impact story” around the work they do. This will help ensure that frontline staff (who are usually the data collectors) adopt a consistent and rigorous approach to data collection.
In the following video, Mick Cronin and Education & Training Director Luke Egan describe Bridge Project’s outcomes measurement journey with Social Ventures Australia and Socialsuite.