Social impact measurement isn't new, but the demand for quality practitioners is growing rapidly.
Once, impact measurement was an afterthought to grants, but now it's regarded as a critical issue that needs to be factored into planning any program or social investment.
Evaluations are now integrated into funding models and expected at every stage of projects. Yet finding the right talent is a big issue.
So how does someone become an evaluation specialist? And how can you spot a good one?
That's at the forefront of the minds of members of the Social Impact Measurement Network Australia (SIMNA), founded in 2012, and now connected to Social Value International, which links practitioners in 45 countries.
SIMNA is active in sharing knowledge and resources through events and training, setting standards, hosting annual awards for good evaluators, and pushing for better policies and debate.
Its membership of more than 1000 ranges from dabblers to leaders in standards and practice.
They are in no doubt that good evaluators are needed now more than ever, with SIMNA members asking at a networking session late last year:
Members exclusive: Click here to read an extended version of this report (AIGM member access needed)
Understanding the importance of strategic planning, relationship building, cultural capability, targeted program design and targeted promotion.
Each year, as part of the Grants in Australia research study we ask grantseekers to rate the performance of grantmakers in several areas. Here's what we found in the new study released this month.
In a world of grantmaking often spun around lengthy applications, mid-term evaluations, detailed budgets and extensive outcomes measurement, one renowned grantmaker is going against the grain to suggest grants would work better with less paperwork and more trust.
Dr Lucy Bernholz, a world-recognised thinker on digital and data trends, says funders must take more responsibility for improving how data is handled and managed for the organisations they're helping, including how much information they're demanding.