4. Planning Your Intended Change /

4.5 Using your theory of change


We use our understanding of the process of change as a basis for measuring results.

To meet the standard in full, you have used your understanding of the way you bring about change to decide where to focus your measurement efforts, how wide-ranging these efforts should be, and who you should involve in the process.

You might want to take time to reflect on your understanding of your theory of change (outcomes map, logic model or similar) in order to form a sensible approach to measuring impact.

It can be helpful to take a step back to consider some basics:

  • Why do you want to measure performance and impact?
  • What is it that’s vitally important to for you to be able to improve or communicate with others? 
  • Who is your audience and what do they expect?

You can explore the theory of change diagram for your social enterprise (if you have one) in more detail to identify the main impact and outcomes you will focus measurement efforts on.

Try to think about what your theory of change implies for approach to impact measurement and ask yourself: 

  • How wide-ranging should your measurement efforts be?
  • For how long will you need to measure to see results?
  • Who will you need to involve and collect information from?
  • Should you try to measure all aspects of the work of your organization or focus down on certain parts?

Sometimes it is helpful to start out in a modest way and build from there.

Think practically about the time and effort that is feasible for you to put into impact measurement activities. Consider what staff time, expertise and money you have at your disposal. Always make sure that your efforts are proportionate to the resources available.