Measuring impact: Doing good well
It's great when we get it all right, but some of our most effective work emerges from trial and error. Using data, analysis, and consultation with a range of people—from community members to government officials—we continually adjust our approach for greater impact.
As a development organization we must be accountable not only to our donors, but also to the people on whose behalf we work—the people at the center of our programs. In late 2005, Oxfam America established a department dedicated to learning, evaluation, and accountability. Since that time we have been making increased investments in this area. Now all long-term programs, major campaigns, and key innovation projects have a rigorous monitoring, evaluation, and learning system. Most include:
- A baseline or assessment of the situation prior to intervention
- A monitoring system with quarterly or midterm reports documenting progress in relation to plans
- Annual reviews that document aggregate evidence and that bring stakeholders together for reflections on progress
- An evaluation every three to four years and/or when an initiative finishes