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Why impact data is so critical to International Non-Governmental Organizations

from  March 22, 2023 | 4 min read

What does impact data mean to an INGO?

Impact data refers to a wide range of qualitative and quantitative information collected by International non-governmental organizations (INGOs) on the outcomes, effects, and impacts that their interventions have had. This data provides INGOs with tangible evidence of the effectiveness and efficiency of their programs and initiatives. The data also allows INGOs to make evidence-based decisions while demonstrating the value they have brought to the communities they have served.

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The Importance of impact data for INGOs

International non-governmental organizations (INGOs) have a vital role to play in providing aid and assistance to those in need around the world. However, to do this effectively, they must be able to track their progress and measure the impact of their work. This is where technology and impact data come in; the use of impact data allows INGOs to measure the success of their projects and ensure that their resources are being used as efficiently as possible.

Impact data is critical to INGOs for several reasons:

  • Demonstrating effectiveness: INGOs rely on funding from donors, governments, and other organizations to carry out their programs and projects. Impact data allows INGOs to illustrate the effectiveness of their programs, which can help them secure additional funding and support.
  • Continuous improvement: Impact data allows INGOs to identify areas where their programs have the greatest impact and where they need to improve. This helps them to make informed decisions about where to allocate resources and how to adapt their programs to better meet the needs of the communities they serve.
  • Measuring progress: Impact data enables INGOs to measure progress toward achieving their goals and objectives. This information can be used to adjust programs and activities as needed to ensure they are on track to achieve their desired outcomes.
  • Transparency and accountability: INGOs are accountable to their donors, partners, and their communities for the results of their programs. Impact data allows them to be transparent about their activities and results, which helps to build trust and credibility with stakeholders.
  • Learning and sharing: Impact data can be used by INGOs to share best practices and lessons learned from specific projects.

The Challenges

Despite the importance of impact data, collecting it can be challenging for INGOs for several reasons:

  • Limited resources: INGOs often have limited resources, which can make it difficult for them to collect and analyze impact data effectively.
  • The complexity of programs: Many INGO programs are complex and multi-faceted, which can make it difficult to determine cause-and-effect relationships and measure impact.
  • Data quality: The quality of data can be affected by factors such as the reliability of data collection instruments, the skill of data collectors, and external factors, such as conflicts, natural disasters, and political instability.
  • Inaccessible locations: Some INGOs operate in remote and difficult-to-access locations, which can make it difficult to collect data and monitor progress.
  • Data protection: INGOs also have to consider data protection and privacy when collecting data, which can add complexity to the data collection process.

How Unit4 can help INGOs to gather and capitalize on impact data

INGOs need access to impact data that is collected, aggregated, reported, and analyzed accurately. For this reason, non-governmental organizations rely heavily on Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems such as Unit4 ERP, HCM, and FP&A to store impact data in a secure and central repository. Our customers use this data to gain an understanding of how their programs or initiatives are performing against goals, assess risks associated with funding, monitor progress, evaluate performance, generate reports, and make smarter decisions.

Creating permanent positive change

Unit4 solutions enable data reliance that provides our customers with an understanding of whether or not the programs and services they provide create meaningful change in the lives of those they serve. This is a critical factor in demonstrating tangible results that can be used to assess progress and measure outcomes.  This data provides the evidence for policy or funding decisions or helps inform program or service delivery. Unit4 solutions enable organizations to promote accountability improve decision-making processes, help define objectives, set targets, track progress over time, and evaluate progress toward long-term goals. This impact data is indisputable when it comes to INGOs’ success in providing meaningful and lasting change across the globe.

Built and delivered specifically designed for the needs of non-profit organizations, Unit4’s ERP, HCM, and FP&A software enhances and optimizes the way your people work, helping you manage complexity and focus on the things that matter.

Our next-generation smart ERP solutions are built for people in the business of helping people. With us, you can ‘Experience Real Purpose’ with an adaptable solution that’s right for you, now and in the future.

To discover more, see what our customers say about Unit4 ERP and what it can do for your non-governmental organization, or ask for a demo.

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Christopher Brewer - Global Lead for Not for Profit at Unit4

Christopher Brewer

Chris has more than 25 years experience working with some of the world's largest Not-for-Profits and NGOs to enhance their technological capacity. As a Global Lead, Not-for-Profit, Chris focuses on helping leaders identify and address changing patterns in philanthropy and shifts in technology to ensure their organizations' ongoing success and increase social impact.