Making markets work better for the poor (as the theory behind “M4P” programmes is called) is a complex task with long time horizons. Measuring market developments – and specifically measuring how much of those developments can be attributed to your work – can be quite difficult. For private sector development programmes, the Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED) has devised a standard for results measurement that addresses these and other challenges. The Committee writes:
|The DCED Standard 'At a Glance'
||“A greater emphasis on logframes and baseline surveys is not helping managers to measure their achievements, particularly where programmes are aiming to have market-wide impacts... [The DCED Standard] turns results measurement from an event into a process.”|
|1. Articulating the Results Chain|
2. Defining indicators of change
3. Measuring changes in indicators
4. Estimating attributable changes
5. Capturing wider changes in the system or market
6. Tracking programme costs
7. Reporting results
8. Managing the system for results measurement
“This format enables managers to be explicit about the assumptions on which their work is based – including for example sequencing and parallel logics – and provides the framework for validating them in a systematic way. Indeed, those implementing the Standard report greatly increased effectiveness and focus; it also provides a framework within which to measure and attribute impacts – where that is feasible. The ultimate vision is that programmes and organisations complying with the Standard will be widely accepted as being committed to effectiveness and excellence.”
IDAS is currently implementing the DCED Standard to assess its work on the African Enterprise Challenge Fund (AECF). [Link to AECF programme page] Through this process, our team has learned much about drawing complex results chains and developing specific indicators capable of tracing the benefits of social enterprise operations as they accrue to households across rural Zimbabwe and Tanzania.