DATE: September 1, 2022
STATUS: Open for public comment
The worlds of investment and impact evaluation are converging.
Over the last decade, investors claiming to have positive impacts on people and the planet have been called upon to meet increasing standards of impact measurement and reporting, to avoid the perception (or the reality) of ‘impact-washing.’ During the same period in the world of impact evaluation, Nobel Prize-winning work with randomized controlled trials in the public and social sectors has demonstrated just how difficult it is to substantiate causal claims of impact. Reflecting this confluence of trends, the American Evaluation Association has set ‘New Actors and Social Finance‘ as one of its three focal themes for its annual conference.
As the communities of impact evaluation and investing converge, what can each learn from the other? Two of our guest expert sessions for cohort members featured evaluation experts who provided a window into the possibilities:
- Evaluation and Impact Investing (video): Veronica Olazabal, Jane Reisman, and John Sherman
- The Mis-measurement of Impact, and What Investors Might Do Instead (video): Ken Scheffler and Laura Castro, Innovations for Poverty Action, Right-Fit Evidence Unit
Both sets of experts emphasized that concepts and methods from impact evaluation can be right-sized for investors’ impact management practices, and can strengthen investors’ decision-making without requiring a randomized controlled trial.
Investors in our cohorts found these presentations thought-provoking and helpful so, with thanks to the presenters, we are making them available to the community at large.
What do you think? How do you think investors’ impact management practices stand to benefit from evaluation methods such as those described in these videos? What can evaluators learn from the impact management practices developed by investors?
Share your responses in our Discussion board!