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Measurement and Evaluation for Sustainable and Responsible Impact Investment - previously recorded eStudy 113

Jane Reisman and Veronica Olazabal

Did you know that each year, private sector, impact investing, and other social finance actors drive $12 Trillion toward social and environmental benefit yet, aren’t beholden to the same levels of accountability as the public sector? With the rapid growth of these investments over the last decade, the risk of impact washing, green washing and rainbow washing is a real challenge to meeting the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030.

It is clear today that the business of doing good is no longer limited to the public sector. How can the evaluator toolkit and mindset support accountability and transparency across these stakeholders? What are applicable and relevant methodological approaches that can be deployed to measure, manage and validate social and environmental benefits as well as contribute to managing the risk of harm? What are the critical questions that need to be asked to ensure that results drive equitable outcomes?

During this course, we will address these questions while exploring both the demand and supply side of generating evidence, validating results, and promoting use of data in decision making in this new area. We will also learn practical M&E skills that can be applied and/or tailored to meet the needs of these newer stakeholders. Finally, we will ground-truth concepts and theories through discussions with experts and practitioners, highlighting the challenges and opportunities in measurement and evaluation for sustainable and responsible investment.

Learning Outcomes:
●To learn about best practices, norms and key features in impact measurement and evaluation for social finance investors, and under what conditions different approaches apply.
●To develop the critical skills needed to ensure evaluators are able to navigate, negotiate and facilitate their way through this new segment of the evaluation market.
●To clarify the distinct needs of these new stakeholders and where impact measurement and management (IMM) converge and diverge from the current evaluator toolkit and mindset

This workshop is aligned to AEA’s Competencies as follows:
As we understand it, these competencies were developed to differentiate professionals engaged in evaluation practice from other measurement professionals. This question has been surfacing in the social sector for at least two decades as the public and social sectors adopted outcome measurement approaches in their funding decisions and established expectations that social sector programs incorporate logic models/log frames/theory of change and outcome measurement as part of the grantmaking process. The transformation of the United Way of America’s grantmaking approach from partner agencies to program funding centered around intended outcomes in the mid-nineties serves as a clear case in point. The United Way of America followed the advice of evaluation advisors to adopt the language of outcome measurement rather than evaluation to distinguish their approach from expected standards for evaluation.

If you roll the clock forward about fifteen years, we are witnessing a comparable situation in the case of social finance. As the measurement approach evolved in the areas of responsible, sustainable and thematic impact investing, a new language was introduced to account for the social impact of these investments, namely impact measurement and management (IMM). Interestingly, evaluation professionals have engaged in the evolution of IMM methods and have become keenly aware of how and in what ways evaluation competencies are embedded in IMM and what ways other measurement professions have been more influential. This course will highlight how the evaluator toolkit and mindset are relevant to IMM. Particular attention will be paid to the domains of practices, methods and context.

This workshop is aligned to AEA’s Guiding Principles as follows:
AEA’s Guiding Principles is a powerful driver of the course presenters continued engagement as field builders in the arena of measurement and evaluation for sustainable and responsible impact investment. We regularly advocate for systematic inquiry, upskilling competencies of impact analysts, transparency, respect for people and authentic stakeholder engagement, and using evaluation and learning to advance equity. Our course will highlight the extent to which these principles are squarely embedded in current IMM norms and conventions and where there is opportunity for improvement.

Who Should Attend?
Any evaluators, impact analysts, an/or impact measurement and management practitioners interested in getting quickly up to speed on the key frameworks, methodologies and issues the new world of social finance and impact investing brings.

Facilitator Experience:
Veronica Olazabal is Senior Adviser and Director of Measurement, Evaluation and Organizational Performance at The Rockefeller Foundation where she brings cutting-edge strategy, measurement and learning practices to the Foundation’s work. Jane Reisman connects the dots between Impact Measurement and Management in Impact Investing and the evaluation profession. As the founder and former leader of ORS Impact , a U.S.-based evaluation and strategy firm, Jane developed a record of engaging in new frontiers and field building to scale impact.

March 10, 2021 1:00-2:30 (EST)
March 17, 2021 1:00-2:30 (EST)
March 24, 2021 1:00-2:30 (EST)
March 31, 2021 1:00-2:30 (EST)
April 7, 2021 1:00-2:30 (EST)

Once you purchase the eStudy you must register for each session. Recordings will be made available to registrants unable to attend sessions live. Recordings will be made available to all registrants for 90 days.