Marine NGOs measure their impact

Published 29.03.2022


Marine NGOs measure their impact

What cannot be measured cannot be improved. So said Austrian-American management consultant Peter Drucker. And we agree. To bring impact measurement closer to the reality of foundations and associations focused on the conservation of the Balearic Sea, we took our NGO training and capacity building programme for organisations throughout the Balearic Islands a step further. X people – from a total of X organisations – benefited recently from a workshop on Theory of Change and impact measurement.

Impact measurement is an approach that is here to stay. In the current context of the Covid crisis, grants from the European Reconstruction Funds are to be awarded and justified based on the economic, social, and environmental impact demonstrated by proposals.

The first report on the state of impact measurement and management in Spain concludes that 95% of the entities measuring social impact improve their management.

But in our environment, organisations are still taking the first steps. There are doubts about the very concept of social impact and how to proceed appropriately and rigorously with its measurement and management. In addition to these doubts, there are questions:

  • Why should I care about collecting information on the social and environmental changes resulting from the activity of my organisation?
  • How do I collect and analyse this information?
  • Why do I need this information and how do I use it?
  • Why and how do I evolve from activity and process management to impact management?

For two, 3-hour sessions, Bernardo García Izquierdo guided participants to find answers to these questions from a practical point of view, by simulating an impact measurement process. The overall objective of the workshop was for each participant to acquire the fundamentals to decide when to measure impact, how to measure it, and how to use these metrics more effectively in their organisation or work environment.

Strengthening NGOs

The Balearics have a large network of organisations and associations doing excellent marine conservation work. To continue improving the Balearic Sea, we want these organisations to grow in volume, professionalism, and impact. Acquiring and reinforcing certain skills will allow them to increase their effectiveness and achieve their objectives.

Our training proposal –in collaboration with Stone Soup Consulting– started in 2020 and continued in 2021 with a three-module programme: strategic planning, strategic communication, and fundraising. In 2022, we continue with training in Theory of Change and impact measurement.

Experts believe that measuring impact is essential for all types of organisations. Regulations on non-financial information, new clauses on impact measurement in public procurement tenders and calls for grants, the exponential growth of socially responsible investment that demands impact metrics to support certain business initiatives, and the growing demand from society for corporate social responsibility, including its contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are just some of the contextual elements pushing organisations in this direction.