What is Impact Planning, and how can it help my organization?

Impact Planning

Impact Planning combines evaluation's systematic analysis with strategic planning's priority- and goal-defining process. Rather than focusing simply on measurement of outputs and outcomes, Impact Planning emphasizes evaluative thinking--an intentional process of identifying the learning purpose(s) of an evaluation, defining what success looks like, identifying appropriate metrics to determine whether that definition of success has been achieved, then using collected data and analysis to chart a course toward program or organizational impact. Impact Planning also incorporates iterative reflection throughout the project period, allowing for adaptive changes to be made in response to data gathered. Finally, Impact Planning emphasizes shared learning among stakeholders and values data in qualitative as well as quantitative forms. Impact Planning aims to be useful beyond any specific, given project by serving as a vehicle for incorporating evaluative thinking into the culture and practice of an organization.