In the Business Innovation Facility we get asked many questions about our somewhat novel approach to inclusive business. A common question is about how we track results – and how the companies we work with track results. A dry and dusty topic to some perhaps, but clearly also a heating-up topic of discussion, amongst companies, donors and the raft of facilitators and advisors that work with them.
So to help share our ideas, learn from others, and encourage wider participation in this discussion, we have launched the Inclusive Business Impacts Network on our Practitioner Hub.
We will use this space to share what we learn from our projects about both the commercial andthe development impacts of inclusive business ventures. We will also tackle the challenging question of how impact can be tracked and measured; whether reporting to donors or helping companies monitor their key performance indicators.
To kick things off, we are sharing the Business Innovation Facility’s approach to monitoring results (along with challenges and lessons) and our initial assessment of the impacts we anticipate in the inclusive business projects we support. We have also created a ‘user-friendly’ diagram (not everyone likes a results chain!) to show the ripple effects resulting from an inclusive business project.
In Bangkok, 100 participants from 30 countries are discussing results of private sector development. In the Impacts Network, Carolin Schramm, M&E Manager of the Business Innovation Facility is already feeding back news from Bangkokon the differences and common issues that have emerged in the discussions there.
How are these issues communicated to business partners? As Carolin says, language matters. Innovations Against Poverty sends successful applicants a 2 page briefon their commitments to reporting results: this is also available in the Network, illustrating some of the nitty gritty of putting these ideas into practice.
So, if you are responsible for tracking results within your organisation, or are simply interested in the why and the how of measuring impacts, please join the impacts discussion!