HomeBlogShared measurement – the way to get us all measuring?

Shared measurement – the way to get us all measuring?

United Way is pleased to be nominated for the Impact Measurement Awards, presented by SIMNA at the ‘Progressing Social Outcomes Measurement’  conference.

Jenny Riley – our Community Impact Manager – comments below on shared measurement as a way towards better outcomes.


Someone said to me the other day that measurement was just too hard, that there are too many models, they think they will get ‘it wrong’ and they can’t afford a consultant to do it for them anyway..

This paralysis is concerning but with an increasing focus on collaboration we may have found a way to move forward.

Recently I shared about collective impact and measurement in a presentation at the Progressing Social Outcomes Measurement conference in Sydney.

Combined these two powerful processes can help us bring about long-lasting positive social change. Good measurement processes tell us if we are making a difference and what we can do to improve our practice. Collective impact provides a framework for us to attempt to crack some deeply wicked social issues.

Measurement is at the heart of collective impact and collaborations because in our experience without measurement, collaborations will fail. Measurement is the glue that holds collaboration together; it gives them purpose, anchors them to a shared goal and importantly enables them to make data-informed decisions, rather than intuition, fancies or agendas…measurement allows collaborations to be accountable through community report cards and forces them to turn outwards and look at the facts.

But if measurement is a headache for some than shared measurement, approached correctly, can ease the pain. It is not without challenges but as collectives we can share the ‘burden of measurement’, learn together and keep each other honest. I spoke about United Way’s experience here and abroad in collaborating in homelessness, mental health and education and what has worked for us and lessons learnt in supporting cross-sector collaborations set common goals, objectives and metrics to create long-lasting positive community impact.



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