Measuring Up - Landscaping the State of Impact Assessment Practices amongst Corporate and Family Foundations in India

Building Institutions | Mar, 2012

In India, the field of impact assessment in the social sector is marked by varying approaches and a lack of standardization. Foundations and individuals have each developed their own impact assessment approaches independently, but their experiences have not yet coalesced into a consistent body of standardized best practices. Dasra’s report, Measuring Up, is a first step towards painting the landscape of impact assessment among corporate and family foundations in India. It highlights the key approaches to building a successful and effective impact assessment practice for all foundations.

Industry bodies and the government have been encouraging corporations to be more transparent in their philanthropic efforts with the recommended 2% pre-tax profit allocation to social projects. Measuring effectiveness and evaluating grant making are therefore increasingly becoming necessary to understand whether the intended social impact indeed matches the social impact created, and course correct to improve the effectiveness of programmatic activities.

For successful and effective impact assessment for all foundations, the report recommends defining impact assessment activities at the planning stage, creating a list of master indicators to be measured, deciding how best to collect information related to outputs and outcomes from beneficiaries and field partners, and finally how to organize and share information collected.

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