Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Register
Impact Measurement and Management in the Context of Coronavirus

Social sector organizations are making enormous short-term changes and are considering the possibility of significant longer-term adjustments in a world deeply impacted by the coronavirus crisis. Impact measurement and management (IMM) will also need to adjust to the new realities. This guide provides some initial guidance and resources for organizations on how to consider their approach to IMM during the coronavirus pandemic. 

This guide is dynamic – the ANDE team will continue to add to this guide (as well as our main COVID-19 resource page) as the coronavirus situation evolves and organizations pivot their responses. If you have resources to share, please contact Mallory St. Claire.

For details on ANDE's own IMM response to the coronavirus pandemic and more detailed tips, read ANDE's latest article in NextBillion: "Impact Measurement and Management During COVID-19: Tips and Resources to Help Social Impact Organizations Adapt" 

Convert your data collection methods to remote or virtual strategies

As more governments issue lock-down, shelter-in-place, or work-from-home orders, in-person data collection methods will be impossible in the short term and may be impacted for quite some time.  Data collection for IMM can still be facilitated using remote or virtual data collection strategies, both from a quantitative and qualitative perspective. Examples include:

  • 60 decibel's guide to remote surveying – Acumen's Lean Data experts have been using low-cost ways to gather data since before 60 decibels became a stand-alone company in 2019.  This guide collates remote surveying providers, gives tips on how to pick a technology, and provides sample question sets.  60 decibels also published an insight guide into their recent research on COVID-19 impact.  

Consider what new metrics may be important to track

The consequences of coronavirus will extend far beyond the immediate health impacts. The economic impact of coronavirus, for example, is estimated to extend into 2021, according to the International Monetary Fund. However, the World Economic Forum highlights the critical role that business can play to help alleviate the human impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.  SGBs may be able to pivot and offer support for the crisis – for example, shifting manufacturing to in-demand products such as hand sanitizer or providing blended learning solutions for university students.

Platforms and tools to help measure coronavirus impacts include:

  • The Center for Global Development has released a survey instrument (see also technical note) used to ascertain the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on small-and-medium businesses in China.The survey is available in EnglishSpanish, and Chinese, and can be quickly adapted by ANDE members to survey their own SGB beneficiaries.The survey takes approximately 10 minutes to complete and assesses a SGB’s financial health, job-related impacts, business projections, and views of government policies.
  • Free assessment tools from Socialsuite and Mobenzi can help analyze COVID-19's socioeconomic impact.

Be realistic and adaptive

The rapidly unfolding nature of the coronavirus crisis will lead to unintended outcomes that are impossible to predict at this point. Traditional logistical framework evaluation methods with pre-determined metrics and targets are unlikely to be able to account for all the ways that the pandemic will impact organizations’ day-to-day operations.  Consider more flexible approaches and frameworks when measuring impact that account for uncertainty, such as developmental evaluation, outcomes harvesting, and most significant change.  The IMP's impact management norms provide practical guidance for insuring that all aspects of impact are considered, including the risk that the impact will be different than expected.  

Additional useful guidelines include:

  • BetterEvaluation's guide to adapting evaluation in the time of COVID-19 – using BetterEval's 7-step "Rainbow Framework," this blog series steps through how to think about adjusting evaluation projects to coronavirus pandemic-related challenges. Read part 1 and part 2.   
  • The World Bank Group has published several guides and articles on adapting evaluation and impact measurement in a pandemic context –  
  • Management Systems International (MSI) – MSI has published a group of resources about adjusting IMM and research in COVID-19.  
  • USAID is hosting a resource page on monitoring, evaluation, and learning in the COVID-19 context.  Additional guidance is available on adapting and use of collaboration, learning, and adaptation (CLA): 

Gender-specific resources

  • From War Child Canada and the Women’s Refugee Commission, guidance on remote monitoring and management for gender-based violence (GBV) programs.  
  • From the Asia-Pacific Evaluation Association (APEA), UN Women, the Sri Lanka Evaluation Association (SLEvA) and the Evaluation Community of India (ECOI), a webinar on ensuring gender-responsive evaluations during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Other resources

  • Guidance on using evidence in the COVID-19 pandemic from the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) -- available in a webinar and blog post.