Impact Management Project: How Much? – scale, depth, and duration

How significant is the outcome experienced by stakeholders? 

Knowing the number of lives touched (i.e. scale) is only one part of the equation. To fully understand the significance of the outcomes experienced by stakeholders, enterprises and investors need to consider all three data categories under the ‘How much’ impact dimension:

  • Scale: the number of people experiencing the outcome
  • Depth: the degree of change experienced by the stakeholder
  • Duration: the time period for which the stakeholder experiences the outcome

Collecting data across the ‘How Much’ categories provides complementary insights. Consider a solar energy company with operations in three East African countries. Reporting that 500,000 solar home systems have been distributed, reaching 450,000 households, gives some insight into the magnitude of the outcome; however, it does not reveal whether the solar home systems improved customers’ productivity — and for how long those improvements lasted. Conversely, knowing that customers’ productivity increased by 20% provides meaningful information about the degree of change that target stakeholders experience. But without scale and duration data to back the depth results, the enterprise is missing two important points for understanding and improving its impact performance.

Source: Impact Management Project