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On the second day of the Social Outcomes Conference 2021 we hosted a deep dive session that explored a range of innovations in, and aspects of, the field of social impact measurement.

The rise of impact-driven investment and service provision opens up both the opportunity and need to develop common measurement strategies in order to keep up with the diversity of experience over time. Outcomes-based contracts (OBCs) have initiated new impact-focused relationships between the public and private sector. Impact investment, meanwhile, is now worth over $700 billion, making it one of the fastest growing parts of the investment industry.

The influx of funding for OBCs and impact investment raises the stakes for the measurement of social impact, as there is now a distinct incentive to ‘prove’ certain levels of impact. This introduces new risks (such as impact washing) and opportunities (such as sustainable financing) and calls for innovative measurement and accountability methods. This session presented some of the latest contributions to this body of literature.

Listen to the audio recording of the session.