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.
Orientation to our online learning platform
Module 1: Introduction to Impact Measurement
Module 2: Planning for Measurement
Module 3: Implementing Your Measurement Plan
Module 4: Managing and Using Data for Impact
Module 5: Applying Impact Measurement Principles