Need Analysis and Impact Management

Impacto Solutions

A thorough Need Analysis contribute to programme planning, monitoring and evaluation, as well as project accountability and is a key step in the project planning life cycle. The difficulties of conducting needs assessment can put many project leaders off even considering it; however, if it is built in as a standard practice the benefits are numerous. A comprehensive needs assessment will be the solid ground on which a successful project can stand. It is easy in the development sector to have the idea first, and then match it to the problem after. Comprehensive needs assessment helps to identify the most critical areas that require action. Projects can then be designed to address these needs, rather than just implementing something that seems like it should have positive outcomes. This process involves more than just asking people in a community what they "need" most. It is important to open dialogue with the community involved and also to determine if something is a critical need rather than a lesser need or a want. Sometimes a community's most critical needs can be so boring and mundane that no one would think to ask for it. The needs assessment stage presents a great opportunity to get involved with the community, engage stakeholders, and ensure that there is enough support within a community for any proposed intervention. For a successful project with long term impact it is critical that the people involved have a level of ownership in developing, maintaining and using whatever it is.

Our Need Analysis Services include :-

  • Determine the most pressing need, or development gap
  • Identify the goal i.e. what closing that gap looks like
  • Compare alternative solutions to the specific problem
  • Develop a cohesive story to gain funding
  • Consider what the intended and unintended consequences of a project might be (and how to mitigate negative outcomes)
  • Decide on what to measure in order to determine impact

Impact Management in Social Projects

Impact is all about creating incremental value for your beneficiaries, that are long term, inter-generational and sustainable over the long run. The world is now moving from Impact Measurement to Impact Management. This is so because we are planning deeply for social projects.

Most of the successful social projects are defined by :-

  • Planned Inputs (Activities). All the activities done in social projects are done with a specific objective in mind. There are "reasons" for such activities to be done and what shall be achieved by those
  • Resource Allocation: All activities outline the resources they would be needing for these activities
  • Outputs: The short term results from such activities
  • Outcomes: The change created by these activities
  • Impact: The broad long term effect of the programme

Impact is not something that is evident at the onset or in very short duration programs or projects. It has to deliberated at the beginning of the project itself, where we want to be at the end of the project.

Creating impact needs meticulous planning, strong execution and most of all strong monitoring frameworks as small errors in the ongoing programs have the potential to derail impact.

It is also extremely important that the metrics used to define our impact are actually a good reflection of what we went out to achieve. We shall study the use of metrics first to understand measurement of change.

CSR and Impact Management

CSR today in India is a Corporate Reality. With the advent of the Companies Act, 2013, many companies who fall within the specified criteria are under the ambit of the CSR laws which specify that 2% of your average net profit of the last 3 years be spent on CSR.

Now, there are many activities available to organisations under the Schedule VII of the Companies Act, 2013 to choose for doing CSR. However, it is always recommended for organisations to chose a path with a Vision for Transformation that helps them create Impact. That in turn shall help an organisation reach out with their social strategy.

What has that got to do with Impact Management?

As a prerequisite, organisations are supposed to do CSR is a project mode and not one-off activities. Now almost all projects that an organisation is doing, is because there is a problem statement or vision attached to it. There is some specific goal that the organisation is envisioning and supporting.

So, with a specific goal, how shall Our Impact Management(with Metrics) help?

  • Impact Management shall help increase value for both the business and society
  • It shall increase efficiency of the program, or if we say more value for the Rupee
  • Improve stakeholder relations along with monitoring processes
  • It also helps organisations to understand where the money in going
  • An organisation can be constantly connected to his projects and seeing the change happening constantly through technology-based monitoring and impact assessment platforms

CSR in practice will need to be oriented towards major societal challenges in the business context which require strategic responses. In parallel, it will need to be firmly grounded in robust approaches to impact assessment and management. This implies a closer and deeper integration strategic planning and into organisational mindsets and culture.

CSR impact assessment and management systems will thus become a type of "strategic commitment" made by companies. They will require the commitment of decision-makers (Board's and CSR committees) and decision-takers (CSR Heads and CSR In- Charge's) to those metrics and the integration of impact measurement into the central, standard information systems of the organisation. They shall require to adopt a "impact mentality" Thus a firm can adjust its thinking and practices in light of performance and impact.

These changes can help an organisation to create their IMPACT STORY.

The benefits of an impact Story :-

  • Better Brand Recognition
  • Positive Business Reputation
  • Attract Positive Media Attention
  • Possible recognition for best practices in CSR