You may have heard of shared measurement… or you may be taking a part in it currently! Shared measurement, often linked to collective impact, has been creating a buzz in the evaluation world for some time. Too often, we see organizations working in a disconnected way, unaware of what others are doing. Shared measurement is an evaluation framework founded on coordination that can take us beyond fragmented efforts. If you are striving towards a goal common to you and your partners in addressing and responding to complex social and health issues, like the Pacific AIDS Network is, this blog might be worth your time.
Shared measurement starts with a group of agencies who come together and identify shared goals and outcomes (or impacts they want to achieve as a result of their collective efforts). In order to measure the group’s collective progress towards these outcomes, a set of common indicators or shared measurement framework is developed. This consistent collection of information (data) across all members of the group not only allows each member to learn more about their own programming, but also allows identification of gaps and opportunities for improvement at the higher levels (e.g. sectoral or geographical levels).
For example, a group of agencies may decide that, together, they want to reduce HIV-related stigma in British Columbia (BC). Some shared outcomes may be decreased experience of discrimination and stigma related to HIV for their clients in healthcare settings and communities; or increased level of HIV knowledge in community members and healthcare professionals. Each member of the group then collects data on a common set of indicators such as: a list of activities related to advocacy, policy and stigma reduction; self-report measurement of stigma and discrimination related to HIV (from clients); number of people who report an increase in knowledge and skills relating to HIV prevention; and percent change in health and social service providers’ perceived ability to respond to HIV issues before and after participation in education session.
Shared Measurement process not only allows the group to determine their collective impact on addressing HIV-related stigma, but also facilitates a collaborative learning environment where agencies are given the opportunity to share the successes, challenges and lessons learned both within the organization and with each other. The data may reveal that one organization has an exceptional approach that can be modeled in other communities. Or perhaps the data will identify a service gap and highlight a need for resource allocation. Further, shared measurement can be an excellent tool for both funders and grantees from funding justification perspective too. Many organizations involved in shared measurement often report that they achieved more together than they could alone; the collective impact demonstrated by shared measurement thus can be a powerful reporting tool. Funders are also able to appreciate the magnified level of impact created by the funding.
Questions? Feedback? Get in touch!
Please contact Mona Lee, PAN’s Evaluation Coordinator at [email protected].