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10.19 Coffee Break Conversation: Social Impact Measurement Using Agile Project Management Approach

Marcel Chiranov, PMP, MERL Lead, International Justice Mission Romania

Experienced in leading teams towards reaching their strategic objectives, designing and managing the implementation of Measurement & Evaluation Plans (Monitoring & Evaluation – M&E) and Impact Assessment Plans. Implemented projects/programs, cumulatively worth over $12 billion, for various areas: anti-trafficking, women empowerment, digital and media literacy (combating misinformation and disinformation), financial services, microfinance, program management, local economic development, business services, revolving loan funds, information technology & communication (ITC), health care, manufacturing, education, governance reform, policy reform, labor market restructuring, agriculture value chain, tourism promotion, cultural heritage preservation.

Regular facilitator /presenter at the American Evaluation Association and European Evaluation Society Conferences on using data for adaptive management and advocacy, impact measurement, online research/monitoring & evaluation.
Certified Project Management Professional (PMP), proficient in Agile project management and hybrid approach; experienced in leading remote research/M&E, and online training/coaching/project management. Always supported a collaborative working environment among stakeholders by facilitating decision making processes within multidisciplinary teams, based on success metrics and aligning activities with the programs’ strategic objectives and collecting input from all relevant stakeholders.

Impact measurement seems to have entered quite late in the organizational culture of the entities implementing projects or programs. Understanding the impact of a program can improve the quality and the effectiveness of the respective program, and thus it is of major interest to many organizations and donors. During this period when the budgets are stretched and when more and more people are interested to “do more with less”, being able to design and implement projects with tangible impact in real life can be a substantial competitive advantage for any organization.
Still it seems there are people questioning whether impact measurement should be on the evaluators' agenda, or rather on the managers’ agenda, since they are responsible for project’s planning and implementation. Without trying to answer this dilemma, we will present a way to measure the impact of an intervention using an Agile project management approach. It is rare for the impact to be fully understood, or correctly, anticipated in the program-planning phase. Quite often this learning builds up during the implementation, based on multiple variables (stakeholders interaction and learning, positive developments in project’s environment, synergy with other economic, social, or policy initiatives, etc.). Being able to understand when, and how, to approach impact measurement can make the difference between a successful project and a not very successful one. We expect the donors to become more and more interested in impact measurement, as a tool to maximize their investments’ efficiency. Impact assessment, or impact evaluation, are not considered to be discussed during this presentation.
Key words - impact measurement, Agile project management

Wednesday, October 19th, 3:00 - 3:25 PM EDT