written by Bobby Doll, Director of Impact
The impact value chain provides a framework to measure impact and follows the basic logic model; inputs and activities lead to outputs, outcomes, and impact. Essentially a map of how an organization’s assets and daily functions lead to impact, the impact value chain provides key measurables of the successes and failures of a program. Somewhat crudely, inputs and activities boil down to money and time, time both in the general sense and time spent performing a specific action. Outputs, outcomes, and impact are all results measured in different ways, at different times, and of different scope. Outputs are short-term and generally of relatively small scope such as number of participants in a program; outcomes are longer term and of relatively larger scope such as effects of a program on the participants; impact can take up to a decade to measure but has the largest scope such as effects on the society and/or environment. Formal impact evaluation is extremely costly and time-consuming due to its tremendous capacity, but looking at outputs and outcomes, a much simpler and less rigorous task, provides useful measurements and analytics. This type of performance measurement is what we are focusing on in the short term, which will hopefully lead to impact evaluation later on.
The impact value chain is not a perfect method, however, especially in the arena of spiritual fitness. The logic model’s central premise is based on causality; that is, each link leads to the next one. Measuring spiritual health does not necessarily have a direct link to the use and management of resources for several reasons. First, the impact value chain tends to deal with the efficient use of assets that lead to measurable change not with changes in an individual’s beliefs; second, culture, society, community, personal circumstances, etc. all play a role in one’s faith, which makes it difficult to apply a theory of change to each situation; third, the Spirit plays a tremendous role in one’s heart change and sanctification, a near impossible identifiable and measurable link in the impact value chain.
On the quantitative side, Resource Global primarily uses self-reporting of a few different key metrics to measure the effectiveness of the Cohorts. The first is called Net Promoter Score, which measures the willingness of Cohort members to recommend the Cohort experience to others. NPS is used throughout the world of customer satisfaction and is well regarded as a proxy of customer loyalty. Each month, Resource Global calculates the NPS of the overall Cohort experience as well as the NPS of that month’s specific Cohort session and compares them to previous months’ numbers in order to determine the positives and/or negatives of that month. Of course, satisfaction is not the only point the matters or contributes to Cohort effectiveness. We also measure two points of Cohort members’ engagement and involvement with the material presented and discussed.
Bronkema, D. (2015). Towards and Understanding and Practice of Spiritual Metrics. Page 15.