We are excited to be attending SXSW 2022! Alicia Richins, Partnerships and Standards Lead at Common Approach, will be representing Common Approach at this year’s conference.

Don’t miss Alicia on the tech conference panel “Digital Infrastructure for Collective Impact”, also featuring our partner Armillaria, as well as the ixo Foundation and Hylo!

Digital Infrastructure for Collective Impact

Mar 16, 2022 @ 2:30pm – 3:30pm  CT Austin Convention Center, Room 18CD

The early decades of the 21st century are characterised by global social, economic, and ecological crises. Yet the recent proliferation of tech-for-good initiatives often exacerbate the challenges they seek to address, with business models frequently relying upon locking data in proprietary silos, and robbing participants of their privacy and agency as a result. So how do we design the platforms of the future without replicating the pitfalls of the past?

Join this critical conversation with leaders co-creating the next generation of global digital infrastructure as we address key design considerations including interoperability, data sovereignty, and decentralisation, and opportunities for collaboration, cooperation, and coordination across a growing ecosystem of aligned organisations.

★ Add it to your SXSW schedule

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Are you in Austin? Alicia would love to meet up!

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What is the Common Approach?

The Common Approach is four community-driven standards: Common Foundations, Common Impact Data Standard, Common Framework and Common Form.

By developing flexible, community-driven standards, our aim is to change the underpinnings of impact measurement from a primary focus on the impact measurement needs of foundations, grantmakers and impact investors. Instead, we are committed to centering impact measurement on the needs of operating charities, nonprofits and social-purpose businesses and those they serve.

We are invested in developing the digital infrastructure that enables relevant and flexible impact measurement practices by social purpose organizations. 

How are we doing this?

The Common Impact Data Standard is one of our four standards. It is a system for organizing impact data. It provides a place for everything so that everything can be in its place. This makes it easier to share and aggregate data. Software can be more easily designed to support better impact analysis.

The Common Impact Data Standard:

  • Provides a standard representation for the core concepts and attributes that underlie impact models;
  • Provides a standard for representing the definition of an organizations’ stakeholders, outcomes, indicators, impact, etc.
  • Provides a flexible standard in that any impact model can be mapped onto this data standard;
  • Supports interoperability amongst impact models by enabling the transformation of data from one impact model to another;
  • Complements other impact standards and data standards;
  • Simplifies the sharing and analysis of impact data;
  • Is extensible;
  • Makes it possible to assess the similarity of indicators from multiple sources; and
  • Is a Semantic Representation, that makes it easier to use AI and Machine Learning to analyze the data.

It will allow your software, database or website to:

  • enable the representation of precise definitions
  • foster interoperability, i.e., the ability to understand and merge the information available from datasets spread across social purpose organizations, their networks and their investors and grantmakers;
  • make the components of impact interpretable by a computer so that open source software and other technologies developed for big data can be applied to analyze and interpret the data collected and generated by social purpose organizations, including automating the detection of inconsistencies in data, as well as the causes of the observed variations.
  • Tap into a common impact data ontology which will enable social purpose organizations who want to share their data, and the linked details, to do so at very little cost.

If our work sounds aligned with what you’re trying to accomplish, consider getting involved!

Join the Common Impact Data Standard Technical Committee

Apply to help shape the future of the Common Approach to Impact Measurement! We are looking to hear from diverse candidates with an interest and expertise in data standards, ontologies, web and software product development, and data ethics and governance.

Are you a fit for the Pathfinder Pilot program?

Are you part of a network of social purpose organizations? The Common Approach is looking to test how the adoption of all four of our standards affects impact measurement. The Pathfinder Pilot includes funding to support implementing the standards across a network of organizations.

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