Summary of Key Questions


  • What is the organisation’s mission?
  • Does it show vision, clarity and relevance?
  • Is it in use, reviewed regularly, and embedded in the organisation’s governance?


  • What is the problem and the current response?
  • Who is being affected and what do they need?
  • Who are the other stakeholders?


  • What are the inputs?
  • What is the timeline of their availability and use?
  • What is the relationship with the investment capital?


  • What are the activities and the timeline?
  • How do the activities respond to beneficiary needs?
  • Is the outreach of activities inclusive, especially of hard to reach beneficiaries?


  • What are the outputs?
  • What is the timeline for their delivery?


  • What are the outcomes?
  • What is the timeline for their delivery?
  • Have beneficiaries been consulted?

Measurement System

  • Commitment to Evidence: Does the organisation show a strong commitment to being able to evidence the work it is doing, and the impact it is having?
    Is the measurement system fit for purpose, and capable of confirming the success or failure of the impact plan?
  • Use of Indicators: Has the organisation selected a high quality set of indicators?
  • Data Collection: Is there a plan and clear processes for data collection?
    Is there a review of the data collected?
  • Targets and Objectives: Are there specific and genuinely demanding targets and objectives in place?
  • Proportionality: Is the measurement system proportional to the organisation?

Conditions for Change

  • What are the assumptions implicit within the impact chain?
  • What are the risks they present?

Context of Change

  • What do the issues of deadweight, displacement, attribution, drop off and unintended consequences indicate about the observed change?
  • Has an appropriate address of these issues been made?


  • What is the impact — the real change achieved by the organisation over and above the context of change?
  • How does the impact relate to the original mission, and the problem it sought to address?
  • What is the investor impact?

Learning, Improving and Moving Forward

  • How can the results be understood and explained?
  • What are the lessons learned and changes to be made?
  • What is the long-term outlook and vision?


  • Does thinking backwards from the impact lead us to the organisation’s activities?
  • What and who else is involved?
  • Are the activities an effective way to get there?
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