In the UK it used to be that simply by being a charity or a social enterprise you were assumed to be doing good. Those times have gone and civil society organisations now have to demonstrate that they are in fact contributing positively to society and/or the environment. You can argue for and against this point ad infinitum. The fact remains that this is now an expectation that we demand even from for profit businesses and the trend is not going to reverse or change direction any time soon
So how are you showing that your organisation is doing good? How do you back up the claims you make about your organisation’s work?
Well, you have to prove it. Use good monitoring and evaluation to inform the claims that you make about your success. Make sure you’re measuring the right things (not just the easy things) and make sure that you’re collecting qualitative and quantitative data. You don’t have to make it complicated or incredibly detailed. But you do have to figure out what you are trying to achieve, how you’re going to get there, what assumptions about your work and your beneficiaries you’re making and what success will look like. Then design your data collection accordingly and be consistent and deliberate about collecting, analysing and most importantly, using your data. By using I don’t mean simply report it. I really do mean use it. Use your data to improve service delivery, project design, shared learning with partner organisations and donors, etc.
Build a monitoring and evaluation plan that is relevant to you and your beneficiaries, proportionate to the complexity (or not) of your work, that is do-able and useable.
If you don’t know where to start, give me a call…