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Developing Shared Measures

Developing a shared measurement system is essential to collective impact.  Agreement on a common agenda is illusionry without agreement on the ways success will be measured and reported.  Collecting data and measuring results consistently on a short list of indicators at the community level and across all participating organisations not only ensures that all efforts remain aligned, it also enables the participants to hold each other accountable and learn from each other's successes and failures. 

Types of shared measures 

Since collective impact initiatives bring together organizations providing complementary (as well as similar) services, different types of shared measures must be developed.

Members engaging in the same activities will share the same benchmarks of success, but these will differ from the shared measurements of partners providing a different service. Getting the members of the collective impact initiative to agree on shared measurements, and finding common metrics that are at the same time representative of their distinct operations can be challenging.

This problem is further accentuated by the funding structure of social organizations, which often requires them to report to their grantors on specific dimensions that are difficult to align.

 

Success

Successfully implementing shared measures of progress may therefore require not only a commitment from collaborators, but also from their funders to re-align funding requirements to reflect those of the initiative.