Tools and Resources for Assessing Social Impact

TRASI

About the Experts

In this section, you will find detailed information about the rubric the experts used to review the approaches in the TRASI database.

You can also view the following pages to learn more: Overall Evaluation Process and Expert Panelists. For definitions of terminology like "intervention" or "approach," please consult the Terms Defined page.

 

Expert Panel Rubric: 4-Step Process

Comprised of practitioners and academics in the field, the expert panel used the 4-step process shown below to determine the most suitable applications for the tools, methods, and best practices listed in the TRASI database. Please take the time to read through the explanations below in order to better understand the icons that appear in the What the Experts Say boxes on most of the record pages. Any approaches missing icons on their record pages were either recent additions and have not yet been reviewed, or did not have enough information for a conclusive review. New additions to the database will undergo an expert review biannually.

Experts reviewed each approach according to the following 4-step process explained in greater detail below:

  1. Determine Suitability
  2. Assess Solution Stage Thoroughness
  3. Determine Scope
  4. Determine Staff and Stakeholder Involvement

1. Determine suitability. Experts aligned each assessment with the stage of solution. The stage of the solution describes the phase of planning or implementation that an intervention has reached in addressing a social problem. For example, they were asked: Which one of the four stages of the solution best suits this particular type of assessment (i.e., best fit of the purpose of the assessment and the description of work within the stage of solution)? See table below for the four stages of solution and their descriptions.

Icon Stage of Solution Description
Frame the Problem Frame the Problem An assessment best suited for the "frame the problem" stage should be used by someone in the early stages of defining and fully understanding the social problem one hopes to solve.
Develop Approach Develop Approach An assessment best suited for the "develop an approach" stage should be used by someone who is brainstorming ideas and designing a solution approach.
Demonstrate and Refine the Solution Demonstrate and Refine the Solution An assessment best suited for the "demonstrate and refine the solution" stage should be used by someone who is implementing an approach at a limited scale to test and refine the solution.
Scale and Sustain Scale and Sustain An assessment best suited for the "scale and sustain" stage should be used by someone who is bringing a program to scale and embedding social impact in the status quo.

2. Assess solution stage thoroughness. Experts reviewed the assessment's overall description, purpose, and coding, as well as the learning questions below to determine how thoroughly the approach fulfilled the core learning questions for the chosen stage of solution in Step #1.

Stage of Solution Learning Questions Thoroughness Icons
Frame the Problem

Frame the Problem

  • Has the nature of the problem been fully defined?
  • Are the root causes of the problem fully understood?
  • Have target constituents been identified?
  • Is the context of target constituents' needs fully understood?
  • Have learnings from prior similar efforts been captured?
  • Is understanding of the problem complete enough to develop concept for a solution?

Very Thorough: Assessment answers almost all (if not all) learning questions

Somewhat Thorough: Assessment answers several of the learning questions

To a Limited Extent: Assessment only answers a few learning questions

Develop Approach

Develop Approach

  • Does the proposed solution address the constituents' need?
  • Does this proposed solution reflect lessons from similar programs?
  • Are the projected short and long term effects of this proposed solution superior to alternative options?
  • Is the proposed solution prohibitively expensive or otherwise infeasible?
  • Is there sufficient evidence to justify piloting?

Very Thorough: Assessment answers almost all (if not all) learning questions

Somewhat Thorough: Assessment answers several of the learning questions

To a Limited Extent: Assessment only answers a few learning questions

Demonstrate and Refine the Solution

Demonstrate and Refine the Solution

  • Have target constituents adopted the solution?
  • Does the solution effectively address constituent need as expected?
  • Have any unintended or negative consequences from the solution been addressed?
  • Has piloting been completed and has the solution been finalized?
  • Is the solution cost effective and feasible at scale?
  • Is there sufficient evidence to justify scaling?

Very Thorough: Assessment answers almost all (if not all) learning questions

Somewhat Thorough: Assessment answers several of the learning questions

To a Limited Extent: Assessment only answers a few learning questions

Scale and Sustain

Scale and Sustain

  • Has the solution been widely adopted? Does it work in larger and/or more varied populations?
  • Does the solution sustain impact over time and at scale?
  • Does the solution withstand changing context and environmental factors?

Very Thorough: Assessment answers almost all (if not all) learning questions

Somewhat Thorough: Assessment answers several of the learning questions

To a Limited Extent: Assessment only answers a few learning questions

3. Determine scope. Experts assessed the comprehensiveness of an approach based on the six dimensions listed below. These dimensions were chosen for their overall importance and utility in assisting users to choose an approach based on its breadth and focus. Overall scope was determined by taking the average across the six dimensions.

Scope Dimension 1: Purpose of Assessment
(see purpose category)
Dimension 2: User of Assessment
(see user category)
Dimension 3: Effectiveness Assessed
(see focus category)
Dimension 4: Degree of Interventions Assessed
(see intervention category)
Dimension 5: Scale of the Approach Across Regions
(see geography category)
Dimension 6: Inclusiveness of Voice of Key Stakeholders Icons
Comprehensive Scope Designed for assessment, managerial, and certification purposes Designed to assist more than 3 users For organizational effectiveness and social impact High (>4) interventions assessed Can be used in both developed and developing regions All key stakeholder voices are captured as inputs



Intermediate Scope Designed for assessment and managerial purposes Designed to assist 2 or 3 users Either for organizational effectiveness or social impact Moderate
(3 or 4) interventions assessed
Can be used in either developed or developing regions Some key stakeholder voices are captured as inputs



Limited Scope Designed primarily for either assessment or managerial purpose Designed to assist single user (or none) Unclear purpose Minimal (≤2) interventions assessed No defined region None/few key stakeholder voices are captured as inputs



4. Determine staff and stakeholder involvement. Experts evaluated each approach along two dimensions: staff resources required and stakeholder input required. Overall involvement was determined by taking the average across the two dimensions.

Involvement Dimension 1: Staff Resources Required Dimension 2: Stakeholder Input Required Icons
High Involvement Fulfills 2 out of the 3 criteria below:
>5 investor days/quarter
>5 management days/quarter
>5 staff days/quarter
Evaluation requires significant input from external stakeholders



Medium Involvement Fulfills 2 out of the 3 criteria below:
2-5 investor days/quarter
2-5 management days/quarter
2-5 staff days/quarter
Evaluation requires some input from external stakeholders



Low Involvement Fulfills 2 out of the 3 criteria below:
<2 investor days/quarter
<2 management days/quarter
<2 staff days/quarter
Evaluation requires little input from external stakeholders



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