1. What is Impact Management?
SDGs are very useful when communicating to partners and funders on what change you want to see in the world, check out the module to see how your solutions can impress them just by acknowledging and measuring what you have achieved! :)
The 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) call on businesses large and small to measure their impact on people and planet. Impact management is the ongoing practice of measuring impacts so as to reduce the negative and increase the positive. A strong impact management framework will enable you to make better data-driven decisions, manage your risks, scale your impact and communicate it, and thereby access funding and partnerships. Strong impact management relies on a sound strategy with a clear theory of change for the impact you are trying to achieve; and appropriate systems, tools, processes and people.
In this module, you will build on the Case for Support module to further develop your startup’s impact management framework. You will produce an SDG Impact one pager to communicate the long-term impact that you are trying to achieve. Did you know there are 17 Goals, 169 Targets, and 231 indicators in the SDG framework? Determining which goals, targets and indicators your startup contributes to can help you strengthen your theory of change, enhance your impact, and attract support.
2. Make Your Own
Follow the 3 easy steps to complete the SDG Impact template! It is designed to help you think through the long-term impact you want to achieve for people and planet and link this to the global agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Step 3: Complete the simple version of your theory of change - connecting the dots from the Sustainable Development Goals you want to achieve (impact) to your activities.
- Impact level: Include the SDG target you identified above, but make it specific to your geographical context and target beneficiaries. This is the impact on individuals, families, communities or the environment that you want to achieve in the long run.
- Outcome level: Outcomes happen before impact. If impact is what you want to achieve over years, outcomes should be achievable over months. Define the intermediate outcomes needed to achieve the impact you defined above.
- Output level: Outputs are the immediate results you want to see from your activities to encourage the outcomes to occur. This could be services delivered or products sold. Outputs are more directly within your control than outcomes.
- Input and activity level: This includes the resources you allocate and your activities. This should be the easiest part of the theory of change (but don’t go into too much detail!)
Remember, this is just an initial simplified version of your theory of change. Over time, we can refine it further by adding assumptions, enabling factors and more.
- Try and do this as a team - the process of discussing the strategy for how you will achieve SDG impact is more important than the final output!
- A theory of change should be high level. A common mistake is to include too much detail. Less is more!
- Start from the impact you want to achieve (in terms of the SDGs) and work backwards from there.
3. How To Submit?
- Click on the "Submit" button below and follow the upload form instructions.
- English language is preferred, please kindly seek translation assistance from your local UNDP staff if this is a challenge.
- Please submit in an editable file format.
- Let us know in the submission form your lessons learnt in applying to opportunities.
- Kindly submit by 5th June, 2020.
Resources For The Curious :)
Impact Management Workshop
Example on how to complete the template:
To learn more about Impact Management and the Sustainable Development Goals:
- Business Call to Action (BCtA) Impact Lab: Use BCtA’s self-paced modules and toolkits to help you assess your impact measurement readiness, design your impact management framework, monitor impact and analyse data. (Free with quick and easy registration). BCtA is a global platform that challenges companies to accelerate progress towards the SDGs through inclusive business models.
- IRIS+ Impact Profile: Create a custom impact profile using Sustainable Development Goals and/or IRIS+ Impact Categories in order to align with IRIS+ metrics commonly used by impact investors. (Free with quick and easy registration).
- Impact Management Project (IMP): IMP is a community of over 2,000 leading organisations who have built consensus on how to standardise measurement of social and environmental impacts. I recommend IMP’s standardised framework for five dimensions of impact (what, who, how much, contribution and risk). See the data worksheet (Excel version here).
- Global Impact Investing Network IRIS+ Theory of Change checklist: see this checklist for some simple key questions to ask yourself when developing your theory of change.
- DIY Toolkit Theory of Change: Use this simple worksheet as a tool with your team to define your impact goals and the path to reach them.
- NPC Theory of Change in ten steps: for more in-depth guidance on developing your theory of change, use NPC’s ten step handbook.
- Acumen Lean Data Approaches to Measure Social Impact: Take the (free) Acumen course on lean data to learn how to use low-cost technology to gain high-quality data and insights on your customers. Learning guides are also available.
- SoPact Impact Academy: SoPact has a series of simple introductory videos on impact management - topics include IMP (see above), theory of change, and SDGs.
- About the Sustainable Development Goals: Learn more about each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and think through how your startup contributes to the SDGs.
- SDG Knowledge Hub: news and articles about each of the 17 Goals.
- My World 2030 Survey: take the My World Survey to have your say on the SDGs.
About The Module Curator
Ellie Horrocks works in the Youth Co:Lab team in Bangkok supporting policy, research and impact measurement. Ellie has a background in economic analysis and policy related to youth entrepreneurship and youth employment. Before joining UNDP in 2019, she worked in East and Southern Africa for the Gatsby Foundation and Adam Smith International, and previously for the Department for International Development in the UK. She has also worked in research and impact measurement as a consultant for the World Bank’s Independent Evaluation Group and others.