Social impact analysis is about delivering impact, not just measuring it – report from the SIAA launch

Yesterday we attended the launch of the Social Impact Analysts Association (SIAA) at its inaugural conference in London. The event was a gathering of like-minded folk from non-profits, government, funders, government, academia and the media, including over 70 members from 12 different countries.

The Association’s aim is to help establish and support the profession of social impact analysis – of which we are part. The event was intended to debate why this is important, what is needed and how it could be done.

Among the speakers was former NPC Chief Executive and SIAA Trustee Martin Brookes, who urged members to take ownership of the fledging Association and help shape its direction.

The keynote address was from NCVO’s Sir Stuart Etherington who posed a challenge to members to produce analysis that has tangible value. He recounted a comment from a small community group whose director stood up at a recent meeting and said anxiously that ‘we are here to deliver impact, not to measure it’.

Part of the challenge then is to make the benefits of impact analysis real. Sir Stuart argued that it must be embedded in the work of the organisations and become more accessible and relevant. It should not simply be seen as an add-on but should be an integral part of the governance and day-to-day running of organisations that exist for social good. At NPC’s Well-being Measure that’s an argument that we whole-heartedly support – we do not believe in measurement for measurement’s sake.

We believe that the launch of SIAA provides a focal point for social impact analyst everywhere and we are excited by what the future holds for the Association. We are proud to be a founding member, and look forward to seeing it grow from strength-to-strength.

To catch up with what happened on the day, there’s information, videos and photos on the SIAA website or via Twitter with the hashtag #SIAALaunch.

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About John Copps

John is part of NPC's research and consulting team and is the founder of NPC's Well-being Measure, a social business that provides an online tool to measure young people’s well-being. He has eight years experience of research and consulting, and is passionate about how data can be used to improve the performance of organisations. John is a regular contributor to NPC's blog and has also contributed to pieces for BBC Radio, the Guardian, and the Financial Times. John is a governor of a secondary school.
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