Delivering the Promise of Social Outcomes: the Role of the Performance Analyst is a new report, jointly published by Impetus – The Private Equity Foundation (Impetus-PEF) in the UK, Social Investment Lab in Portugal, and Think Impact in Australia. The report demonstrates how crucial social performance analysts are for organizations who aim to deliver outcomes which transform lives.
Written by Sydney-based social impact analyst Emma Tomkinson, the report argues for greater investment in back office capabilities, contradicting the view that administrative spending should be pared to the minimum in social programmes.
Tomkinson initially set out to discover what made a perfect case management IT system. But as her interviews progressed, it became apparent that the key to successful social service organizations were the relationships between its performance analysts and service delivery staff.
Three important new trends, each of which has made investing in performance management systems and their analysts a mission critical priority were highlighted. First outcome based contracts, where service delivery organizations are paid on the basis of the social outcomes they achieve, are proliferating; second the increasing popularity of social impact bonds, where investor returns are dependent on the social outcomes achieved by the programs they invest in and third the idea of ‘collective impact’ which is rapidly gaining traction and which requires organizations collaborate to deliver social outcomes.
Impetus-PEF, co publishers of the report, focus on this with their Driving Impact model. As a charity committed to transforming the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, they help the organizations they support to develop, operationalise, and test performance management systems which allow them to modify delivery in real time, ensuring that far more beneficiaries get to the desired outcome. Performance management analysis is crucial to sustainable success, and they are finding that a growing number of investors, funders, and charities agree.
‘CEO of Impetus-PEF, Daniela Barone Soares, said she hoped Delivering the Promise of Social Outcomes would… inspire charity CEOs and boards to take seriously and invest in performance management. As this report shows, the work of the analyst is special and specialized. But what the work represents is a commitment to accountability and impact, which should be central to any social organization, from the boardroom to the frontline.’