Donor Committee for Enterprise Development

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Donor Committee for Enterprise Development (DCED)

Type of tool: Framework
Year Launched: 2008
Geographic focus: None (agnostic)
Sector focus: None (agnostic)

Purpose: The Standard acts as a seven-step guide for designing and implementing social and environmental impact processes. It can be used by both for profit and not for profit organisations.

USERS OF THE TOOL

Development stage of users: It can be used at any stage of growth.

The Standard has building blocks to help users develop their impact management system. It starts with developing the theory of change and works through steps to decide what to measure, how to measure and reporting.

Early stage users can take the Standard and start to put in place the building blocks that will help them develop their impact management as they mature over time. The Standard looks at what is practical at different stages of development and recognizes that the larger organisations have more resources to apply.

The Standard has mandatory and recommended aspects. For instance, The Standard only recommends the measurement of systemic change. Measuring systemic change may be less important for early stage organisations.

Active users: 150 programmes/organisations

Usage tracking: The DCED does not require users to report back on usage. They try to check every 3 or so years to get an update on which organisations are using it.

Impact measurement coverage: Can be used for an entire portfolio, business or a specific project.

COST OF THE TOOL

Cost: Approximately 5% of the budget but costs depends on the organisation structure and size of the initiative being measured. As an optional extra cost, an organisation can request an independent audit to assess how well they are applying the Standard.

Cost is dependent on the program budget. Other costs include internal staff time; knowledge management to support the process; some organisations use external consultants to help design and implement the Standard.

OUTPUT

End product: A functional and practical impact management system

Process and duration: There are seven steps or building blocks. It may take time to develop them depending on the organisation’s activities and resources. For smaller organisations it takes less time, roughly 3 months.

Verification of provided input: Users decide how they are going to collect the data and ensure that it is quality data. The Standard recommends good practice data collection, analysis and reporting but does not specify exactly what this must entail because of the variation of outputs and outcomes that may be measured.

To improve the credibility of reported impact results, more mature organisations can also seek to have their use of the Standard independently audited to assess adherence to the Standard.

Output vs outcome focus: Both outputs and outcomes.

INTEGRATION

Training offered: The DCED Secretariat provides introductory guidance for those who want to know more about the Standard. They can also link organisations to others who have used the standard to share knowledge. The DCED website also includes guidance materials, and case studies and examples.

Some service providers provide periodic training in the DCED Standard.  These are normally advertised here.

A list of consultants experienced in using the Standard are listed on the DCED website. It is up to the organization to talk to the consultant and this is a paid service.

Integrated indicators for gender inclusion: The Standard asks for relevant gender disaggregated data to be collected and analysed. The depth of a company’s aim to positively impact gender issues provides a foundation for what the Standard then suggests needs to be measured. The DCED has guidelines on integrating gender , which can be found here.

BENEFITS AND CHALLENGES

Benefits:

  • Don’t need to re-invent the wheel: Gives managers a framework of well-trodden steps to follow in designing and implementing an impact management system
  • The Standard helps managers’ think through what information they need to manage for impact continuously improve on the organisation
  • Increases the credibility with donors and investors that you are serious about developing and improving impact

Challenges:

  • To maximise the benefits of the Standard, the design and implementation of it should be championed by senior managers to signal its value to the organisation
  • Time and effort are required to develop and implement impact measurement systems and if the work is not prioritised it can be challenging.

 

 

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