Collective Impact: Shared Measures

Collective Impact seeks to create change on a systems-level. To reach this goal they must bring together many stakeholders working towards solutions for the larger problem and unite them under the common goal of the collective impact organization. While individual partners are often focused on small pieces of the larger issue, the collective needs to have a method to assess both these small successes, as well as, the initiative as a whole. Shared measurement needs to be an ongoing process throughout the life-cycle of the organization and will evolve as the organization evolves. (Preskill, 2014)

3 Types of Evaluation for Shared Measurement

Developmental Evaluation

Developmental evaluations address the questions of, “what needs to happen?”

  • What challenges and opportunities are emerging?
  • How are relationships developing among collective impact partners?
  • What seems to be working well and where is there early progress?
  • Are there changing circumstances that need to be addressed?

(Preskill, 2014)

Formative Evaluation

During the formative evaluation stage, the focus is on, “How well is it working?”

  • Are the initiatives context, scope, and shared vision well known and understood?
  • How closely are the partners implementing the agreed-upon strategies and activities?
  • How can we enhance initiatives that are working?
  • Can we improve on initiatives that are not working or do we need to adapt the approach?
  • What effects are beginning to show up in the targeted systems?
  • What factors are limiting progress and what can be done to mitigate or eliminate those factors?

(Preskill, 2014)

Summative Evaluation

The summative evaluation is a reflection on what has worked, lessons learned, and a determination of completion or continuation.

  • What quantifiable and measurable effects are visible in the targeted systems?
  • What qualitative results have been observed throughout the process?
  • What initiatives, programs, or processes have been the most effective and why?
  • What key things have been learned throughout the process?
  • Are there any other neighboring measurements that have improved based on the collective impact initiative?

(Preskill, 2014)

Tools for Evaluation

Collective Impact In Practice

Appropriately collected data provides insight into complex issues. When data is aggregated from multiple sources it can highlight areas of need, gaps in services, and opportunities to make statistically significant improvements for systemic issues. One of the primary goals of collective impact is to engage in systemic change and scale impact to make a sizable impact. Data provides the insight needed to facilitate this type of change. This infographic summarizes data collected from real-world collective impact organizations and summarizes the guidelines and practices they employ to identify, collect, and utilize data in their organizations.

My Morning Routine* by lorrea.hall


Preskill, H., Parkhurst, M., & Juster, J. S. (2014). Resources. Retrieved November 18, 2019, from (Links to an external site).