“I don’t care about the details, just tell me what impact you had!” The impact of interventions that deal with complex social issues often can’t be boiled down to a simple yay/nay vote, especially when examining longer-term outcomes: unfortunately, explaining that fact to stakeholders and funders without seeming evasive can be difficult.
Chris Lysy over at Fresh Spectrum has penned five humourous illustrations on this difficult topic, which I’m keeping in my back pocket the next time I have a discussion with anyone about attributing impact. I find the idea of a “logic model repair shop” (#3) to be hilarious (and I’ve seen models that look that complex!), and the image of someone asking a whole community to stop the good work they’re doing to avoid messing up his or her impact assessment raises a good point that nothing we do happens in isolation. That being said, I think my favourite is the quote from John Mayne: “We need to accept the fact that what we are doing is measuring with the aim of reducing the uncertainty about the contribution made, not proving the contribution made.”
What’s your favourite out of the five?