08. 11. 2011 Education

Peter Scholten: Prove that your projects have real impact on target groups

„If you claim to have an impact on some target group, you will have to demonstrate it and give the stakeholder a voice.”

November 8, 2012 – „If you claim to have an impact on some target group, you will have to demonstrate it and give the stakeholder a voice,” said internationally renowned expert Peter Scholten during the workshop “How to measure the impact of the projects”, organized by the Pontis Foundation for people from Slovak NGOs.

According to Peter Scholten, it is essential for all non-profits to learn about the process of measuring the impact of projects (performance measurement) in order to demonstrate their added value. ”At the end of the day or year, lofty statements are not enough to know whether you have been successful or not,” is how the Dutch coach explained the importance of impact measurement.

NGO workers should be able to demonstrate the outcomes of their projects. It is very important to set the objectives which you want to achieve with the project. The process of measuring the impact is, according to Peter Scholten, based on five pillars: the theory of change, stakeholder analysis, outputs and indicators, verification and valuation and the final phase, monitoring and evaluation.

Take a criticak look at your projects

Peter Scholten attempted to make the NGO workers look at their projects from a different perspective. During the group work they reflected a sense of their activities and their impact on the target groups. The trainer tried to make them take a critical look at their work so that they could leave their comfort zones. “I liked the manner in which the information was presented – very precise, clear, right in to the point, as well as the professionalism of the trainer, the ability to pick up details and ask questions. I learnt that I should totally change my mind set when thinking about projects about solving ‘problems’. I like the idea: if you can’t verify it, don’t claim it. Our politicians should apply it also,” wrote the participants of the workshop in an anonymous feedback questionnaire after the workshop.

Skilled lecturer with experience

Peter Scholten is an independent international consultant specializing in social entrepreneurship and bridging the gap between non-profits and for-profits. His fields of expertise include business planning, social investing, performance measurement and earned income strategies. His clients include major for-profits, smaller non-profits and investors and foundations all over the world. In the context of Asia, Peter has lectured in the Philippines (AIM, Philrice) and Malaysia (Mosti) on performance measurement. He was chair of the EVPA-working group on performance measurement in Europe and has published several books on performance measurement and related topics. Peter is one of the initiators of the web tool Social-Evaluator and developed the ValueGame® in 2010. Before starting his own consultancy, Peter worked with social enterprises in the Netherlands for 25 years. He received his MBA at Rotterdam School of Management and studied in the USA (Atlanta and Harvard).

The training on impact measurement was organized by the Pontis Foundation on 5th and 6th November for Slovak NGOs, under the auspices of the project Knowledge Makes Change! The project is funded by EuropeAid.

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