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Going ‘Beyond Measurement’ at the SIAA Annual Conference in Paris, 9th-10th December

Going ‘Beyond Measurement’ at the SIAA Annual Conference in Paris, 9th-10th December

In December, LCSV PhD candidate Rachael Morgan attended the annual Social Impact Analysts Association (SIAA) conference in Cergy-Pontoise, Paris. The theme of the conference was  ‘What, Why and How to’ go Beyond Measurement? The conference was held at the ESSEC Business School and attended by a range of analysts, consultants and social organisations from across the international community. Rachael attended the conference in her dual capacity as a social investment researcher and a Social Value and Impact Consultant (SROI).

SIAA conf paris 1From the introductory session offering differing perspectives from Andreas Richart, Jess Daggers, John Gargani and Kate Ruff to the five workshops areas and the afternoon hotspots the cross-cutting theme of ‘Beyond Measurement’ was addressed.

Jeremy Nicholls, the SROI network, addressed the theme by suggesting that going Beyond Measurement involves a commitment to recognising that in a time of tight resources it is ‘not enough to just measure if we are achieving our purpose’, there is a need to ask ‘are we doing as many good things as we can with our resources?’.

Rachael Morgan hosted a hotspot where she addressed this cross cutting theme by asking participants to give their views on developing a common outcomes framework across the international community. In particular views were sought on the emergence of the Social Progress Imperative’s work on a Social Progress Index.

Going Beyond measurement in this sense involves a normative commitment to establishing a set of international values against which progress towards specific outcomes can be made. Rachael is including a critical analysis of this approach in her current research and data collected at this event will be used to inform her fieldwork.

SIAA conf paris 2At two workshops given within the theme of The Communication of impact measurement Nic Bolto from the Difference Magazine, Australia and John Gargani, Gargani inc USA, both offered their perspectives on the matter.

For Bolto going Beyond Measurement involves communicating the difference made by an organisations activity as for him ‘unless the comms piece works, then nothing works.’ For Gargani Going Beyond Measurement involves finding the balances between accuracy and clarity in communicating impact.

Whilst we wait for conclusions to be published from SIAA on what, why and how to go Beyond Measurement perhaps an interesting question to ponder is whether going Beyond Measurement was the right question to ask? What questions do you have about impact measurement and social valuation?

(Images courtesy of SIAA Annual Conference)