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Announcing NEW Innoweave modules! Impact Measurement and Data Utilization

Innoweave is excited to be undertaking some new initiatives in 2019 to keep our platform as responsive as possible to organizations across Canada.

This month, we are proud to announce that we are currently developing two new social innovation modules: Impact Measurement and Data Utilization. The design of each module is being led by McConnell Foundation Senior Fellows, Karim Harji and Jason Pearman. We’re very pleased to introduce these two fellows to our Innoweave community, and have them share a bit about the work they have planned over the next few months.

Karim Harji is leading the development of the Impact Measurement module. He brings over a decade of experience in impact measurement in Canada and globally with foundations, governments, social enterprises, and nonprofits. He is also the Programme Director of the Oxford Impact Measurement Programme at the Said Business School, University of Oxford. Karim previously co-chaired the Impact Measurement Task Force convened by the Government of Ontario, was an advisor to the Rockefeller Foundation, and co-founded Purpose Capital.

Jason Pearman is developing the Data Utilization module. Jason is a long-time member of the Social R&D Community, who is on secondment from the federal public service to help the Foundation and other partners advance Social R&D practice in Canada. Jason’s work in the public service has helped develop platforms for policy innovation and program experimentation, as well as stronger ties between civil society and public sector actors. He is also a co-founder of Impact HUB Ottawa and Future of Good Summit.

Impact Measurement by Karim

Many nonprofits, charities and social enterprises are seeking to better understand how to describe the impact that they are having on the people, organizations and issues they work with. At the same time, there is greater pressure to “demonstrate impact” to funders, boards and other stakeholders. In practice, impact measurement remains challenging – with inconsistent definitions, fragmentation in approaches and methods, and numerous technical and capacity challenges.

As well, there is an opportunity to reimagine impact measurement to improve decision-making and learning for a range of internal and external users. Many organizations are already doing some form of results tracking or monitoring and evaluation, but want to do this better. This module will include a range of content – definitions and approaches, methods and strategies, and common challenges and solutions – together with customized coaching on organization-specific needs and opportunities. The first pilot intake will be in the spring, and will be expanded later in the year.

In addition, we will upload a range of impact measurement resources and tools on the Innoweave site. To inform this, we welcome your suggestions and questions related to impact measurement, so please get in touch via info@innoweave.ca. Our initial research indicates interest in several areas, such as: moving from tracking activities to evaluating longer-term outcomes; navigating among measurement approaches to understand which may be most appropriate for organizational context and needs; improving evidence quality and robustness of results; designing feedback loops with clients and partners; measuring impact at systems-level or for policy change; and strengthening internal capacity to conduct and use impact measurement.

Data Utilization by Jason

Strengthening the social sector through thoughtful data practices

The social sector is becoming more data-centric. While many organizations in this space actively collect data and use it for reporting purposes, not all find themselves able to use their data to inform their work or maximize their impact. The new Data Utilization module will help organizations move up the ladder from being data collectors to thoughtfully using data to support strategy, continuous improvement, and research and development.

There is no perfect data or perfect formula

We recognize that organizations’ data needs are multifaceted and diverse, and that there is no perfect formula, or perfect data strategy. So we’ll be developing this module via a co-development process. One of the first inputs into the process was intensive user interviews with a range of social mission organizations: early results confirmed that despite the many different data needs and goals, there are some fundamental digital skills and habits that that a learning program could be built around.

Using your real-world data to uncover realistic, insightful, and actionable solutions

Throughout November – December 2018, we heard from many different organizations about their data-related needs, wants, and aspirations. From January through March 2019, we will be running a pilot of the Data Utilization module with two cohorts of organizations. The experience from these two cohorts – what worked, what didn’t work, what was missing – will help us roll-out a stress-tested module in the summer of 2019.

Building your organization’s digital capacity with a network of knowledgeable partners

Curated by the Social R&D Fellowship, technical experts from across the sector are supporting the development and delivery of this initiative. The technical partners include:

How will this module benefit your organization?

While this learning program will target organizations that already have some experience with whole-of-organization data practices, we’ll also share resources to help those just getting started – stay-tuned.

As we build the Data Utilization module we’d appreciate your input and ideas on how data can play a role in your work. Please feel free to get in touch with us via info@innoweave.ca at any time.