IMPACT Initiatives is a leading Geneva based think and do tank, created in 2010 and firstly operationalized in 2012. IMPACT is a member of the ACTED Group.
Through its action, IMPACT aims at shaping practices and influencing policies in humanitarian and development settings, in order to positively impact the lives of people and their communities. They do so by co-constructing and promoting knowledge, tools, and practices which enable better decision-making by key aid stakeholders. In all their work, they promote the use of settlement approaches as a catalyst for more effective aid action. They believe that by understanding settlements through the lens of community dynamics, governance structures and socio-economic relationships, they can impact lives of people, improve communities’ development pathways and contribute to a fairer world.
IMPACT’s teams implement assessment, monitoring, evaluation, and organizational capacity-building programmes in direct partnership with aid actors or through its inter-agency initiatives, REACH and Agora. IMPACT’s global team, based in Geneva, is complemented by an established presence in over 15 countries in Africa, Eastern Europe, Middle East and North Africa, South-East and Central Asia.
Understanding settlements, ensuring an evidence-based response everywhere, including hard to reach areas, promoting innovation and working through partnerships constitute the four core components of IMPACT’s approach.
Understanding settlements: The aid system is primarily structured around the provision of sector-specific support to household-level beneficiary, often at the expense of supporting communities in their holistic development pathways. They believe that a good understanding and use of territorial, holistic and community-based settlement-approaches can lead to more efficient and sustainable aid action in crisis and non-crisis settings. In all its action, IMPACT promotes the understanding of settlements through the lens of community dynamics, governance structures and socio-economic relationships, in order to guide humanitarian and governance actors in more effectively planning and implementing their action.
Evidence based-planning, everywhere: In contexts as volatile and dynamic as those that characterize natural and man-made disasters, access to high quality information is a critical pre-condition for effective aid delivery. Unfortunately, recent crisis have exposed the continued shortcomings of the humanitarian community in ensuring that their decisions are evidence-based, especially in contexts where humanitarian access is restricted by security concerns. IMPACT provides aid actors with key information on humanitarian needs, trends and response, in order to enable evidence based decision-making for planning, monitoring and evaluation purposes. IMPACT has developed a number of methodologies and an in-house expertise on data collection in both accessible and hard-to-reach areas.
Promoting innovation: Aid stakeholders often struggle to appropriate innovation, lacking the flexibility and processes to incorporate new technologies to improve their action. They believe that the development of new technologies and their usage can provide significant benefit to the aid sector, and want to be promoters of such a change from within the system. IMPACT promotes and facilitates the use of technology for more efficient and accurate collection and analysis of data informing aid responses worldwide.
Working in partnership: The number and variety of actors cooperating during humanitarian and development responses has dramatically increased over the past years. They believe that this partnership trends provides a key opportunity for a more sustainable, impactful and efficient aid action which is inclusive of sub-national, national and international private, public and non-governmental actors. Throughout its activities and through its inter-agency initiatives, IMPACT promotes a collaborative approach among aid actors, local and national governance stakeholders, the private sector and affected communities, in order to improve the effectiveness and quality of aid delivery.
IMPACT implements information and knowledge management activities aiming to connect humanitarian and development stakeholders (project implementers, governance actors, donors) in order to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and efficacy of humanitarian and development interventions. IMPACT core activities are declined in several pillars:
1) Assessments: Through its field-based assessments, IMPACT supports aid actors to fill information gaps and enhance their planning capacity. IMPACT assessment and data management specialists can be rapidly deployed to conduct assessment in support of aid planning and to inform resilience and social cohesion programming.
2) Monitoring and Evaluation: IMPACT teams monitor and evaluate humanitarian and development programmes, projects and sector-level response, with an expertise that includes third party monitoring, impact evaluations, sector-response monitoring and evaluation.
3) Building Capacities of Organizations: Through its capacity building programme, IMPACT builds the capacity of organizations to gain a better understanding of crisis dynamics, be better prepared for future shocks and have an increased capacity to respond to the needs of affected populations. This can be done through trainings, provision of tools and mentorship programmes.
4) Information Products: IMPACT develops a wide range of information solutions to facilitate decision making by aid actors. IMPACT’s information products include mapping products (static maps, interactive maps, web maps, info-graphics), narrative products (reports, factsheets, profiles) and data storage and management products (data portals, databases).
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