In this topic, we provide a definition of impact and explain some key concepts.
What is impact?
Impacts are the effects that can be attributed to the activities of your project or organisation. These effects can be either positive or negative, intended or unintended, direct or indirect.
Measuring impact denotes the quantitative and/or qualitative measurement of the impact you are pursuing. It can be be a one-off activity or part of impact-oriented work. It is focused on gathering and analysing information.
Impact-oriented work goes beyond measuring impact. You can see it as a cycle, a continuous process. It starts with making the impact that you want to achieve visible and includes the intention to gear every decision and action accordingly. It is a participatory process in which you continue to learn from previous findings. The emphasis is on impact as a driver.
Output: The direct, quantifiable results of the activities of a project or organisation
Outcome: The changes and effects that occur as a result of the activities of a project or organisation
Impact: Social or systemic changes that occur (partly) as a result of the outcome. These effects can be both positive and negative, intended or unintended, direct or indirect.