Step 1: Understand Impact

Faye Turner

7 min Read Time | August 10th 2021

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Logic Model and IMP

Assessing impact can be tricky. The good news is that many frameworks exist to help you, the impact analyst, conduct an objective and rigorous evaluation.

We took the best of these methodologies and applied them to our model.

In this article, you’ll find a condensed version of what you need to know to be able to analyse impact.

Key Takeaways

1

Learn to see impact as part of a chain using the Logic Model.

2

Look at the different dimensions of impact: the what, the how much, the who.

3

Look at the contribution (vs what would have happened anyway) and the risk (how likely is the effect vs the expectation).

Learn to see impact as part of a chain: the logic model approach

To look past greenwashing or company bashing, it is essential to decompose a company’s impact into smaller components part of a causal chain.

This model is called the logic model, and it looks like this:



At Impaakt, we only focus on the outputs, outcomes and impact which are tangible effects, as opposed to intentions, inputs or activities.

Therefore, you should not write on commitments, inputs or activities. If you do, your analysis will be automatically rejected.

Learn more about intentions vs impact in Golden Rule #2: Impact ≠ Intentions or future goals

Still not sure you understand this approach? The example below will help you understand the difference between intention, input, output, outcome, and impact.

  • Intention: The company is committed to improving the livelihoods of four million farmers.

  • Input: The company created an internet-based intervention that gives farmers access to information about soil and seed quality, prices, and weather.

  • Output: The internet-based services reach out to more than four million farmers growing a range of crops, in over 40,000 villages across eight states.

  • Outcome: Four million farmers have benefited from an average of 2.5% higher prices than the traditional market for agri-products.

  • Impact: Thanks to the internet-based intervention that was implemented, after one year, the farmers are able to tackle challenges posed by unique agricultural features, such as fragmented farms, weak infrastructure, and the involvement of numerous intermediaries.

This example was taken from this analysis.

Look at the 5 dimensions of impact: the IMP model approach

To help you assess impact, you can follow the Impact Management Project model (IMP).

To do so, you will need to answer key questions about the impact described.

The first three questions (what, how much, who) will help you establish the issue at hand, the following (contribution) allows you to address the initiatives taken by the company, and the last (risk) allows for a critical assessment. Answering the last two questions is not mandatory, but will push the quality of your analysis to the top of the ladder.

Must haves

What?

Questions to ask yourself

What outcome(s) does the effect relate to, and how important are they to the people or the planet experiencing it?

Examples

1. Consumers who got food poisoning

2. Farmers’ incomes

How much?

Questions to ask yourself

How significant is the effect that occurs? Over which time period?

Make sure the impact is of significant scale. Read more about it in our Golden Rule article on granularity.

Examples

1. Six factual contaminations between 2019-2020

2. 60,350 farmers since 2009

Who?

Questions to ask yourself

Who experiences the effect and how underserved are they in relation to the outcome(s)?

Examples

1. Potentially 54 million customers in the US, Europe, and Indonesia

2. Farmers from rural areas of Ghana spread across 1,644 communities

Going the Extra Mile in your Analysis

Contribution


Ask yourself:

How does the effect compare and contribute to what is likely to occur anyway?

Examples

1. Grocery stores are supposed to follow strict food safety policies to ensure consumers are not exposed to any risks. In that sense, the effect is negative.

2. The average farmer in the region earns just $1.50 or less per day, which is below the poverty line. Therefore, these efforts have a positive impact on the long-term livelihoods of farmers.


Risk


Ask yourself:

Which risk factors are material? And how likely is the effect different from the expectation?

Examples

1. This indicates violations of the company’s safety policies and exposes consumers to health hazards. With around 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 per year in the US due to food poisoning, these incidents have the potential to harm even more customers.

2. So far, only 14,780 farmers have been trained, which is quite positive. However, the program pays less attention to women’s group formation.

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