What is Impact Measurement and Management (IMM)?

August 3, 2020

Partnerships for the Goals

Impact Measurement and Management has become a hot topic among impact investors, development professionals and impact driven organisations that care about the effect they have on the world around them. But for many businesses, organisations and stakeholders across society, it can be hard to pin down exactly what this seemingly abstract process is.

Well, Impact Measurement is the process of assessing how much social and environmental impact has occurred and the proportion of observed impact that has been caused by an organisation’s actions.

Impact Management is the process of overseeing the creation and measurement of impact, identifying relevant risks that may prevent the achievement of impact and restructuring an organisation’s activities based on results to maximise impact.

Together, Impact Measurement and Management (IMM) is used by impact-driven social enterprises, organisations and investors, to better understand and improve their impact.

Every organisation generates positive and negative impact through their operations, purchases, hiring practices and strategic decisions, but many lack the awareness and expertise to identify these effects.

And yet, times are changing. Increasingly, companies are waking up to the real opportunities to benefit from knowing and communicating impact, and the risks of being associated with the toxic drivers of the world’s largest problems.

According to the SDG (Sustainable Development Goal) Reporting Challenge 2019whilst 72% of companies mentioned the SDGs in their reporting, only 1% of the overall are reporting quantitative measures to show their progress towards targets.

Clearly, the demand for IMM is there, but a lack of knowledge and expertise has prevented wide-scale adoption by the market. A huge capability gap exists with much debate ensuing around the “right” way to measure and manage impact.

In Innovest’s latest blog series, we aim to answer some key questions about Impact Measurement and Management and why it is so important for us all to do it. Over the next few months, we’ll be using our industry experience to cover essential topics such as:

  • Why we all need to measure impact and how it should be done. 
  • How to build impact measurement into an impact strategy 
  • Why the market needs to start walking the talk in impact measurement, by measuring the elusive counterfactual
  • The benefits and methods of communicating impact
  • How to use impact management to turn information into action
  • Case studies about the benefits of IMM from our Network

Stay tuned for more valuable IMM insights over the next few months.