Tools and Resources for Assessing Social Impact


A Guide to Actionable Measurement

Offering useful best practices and examples, this guide is the result of a year-long cross-foundation effort to develop common principles, approaches, and taxonomies to help Gates staff decide how best to allocate time and resources for data collection and analysis. Three principles guide the Gates Foundation's approach to actionable measurement: 1) Measurement should inform specific decisions and/or actions; 2) We do not measure everything, but we do strive to measure what matters most; 3) The data we gather help us learn and adapt our initiatives and strategies. The guide includes a results matrix, results hierarchy, definitions of related terms, and measurement guidelines intended to shape internal decisions about the depth, breadth, and rigor of measurement across grants and within strategies. It also highlights the best practices the Gates Foundation aspires to follow to be good stewards of our resources and not increase the reporting burden of grantees or distract them from their work.

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