The World We Want (3W) Foundation is a private philanthropic organization finding effective ways to advance social and environmental change in developing countries. They are based in Stockholm, Sweden.
At The World We Want, their aim is to encourage and support organizations which are finding innovative solutions to today’s most pressing global issues – poverty and environmental degradation.
They work with development initiatives that are well-defined, limited in scope, and run by skilled and dedicated social entrepreneurs. Their focus is to provide humanitarian support to the most vulnerable – women and children facing severe poverty – and to foster environmental responsibility and revitalization.
For us, the guiding principle is a high level of engagement and ownership.
They believe in Catalytic Philanthropy. In regard to measurement, they try to use a balanced and disciplined approach, specifically:
Common Sense / Reality Check of the Model or Mode of Change. This requires that they investigate similar approaches in other countries, that they turn to professionals in their network for sanity checks, and that they go on-site to see the operations first hand.
Field visits are a must. However, all projects look good from one or two angles. They travel off the beaten path to expose fallacies.
Impact is very difficult to measure, as it is almost impossible to isolate the influencers. They believe that people need a few meaningful metrics that directly correspond to the chosen forces of change. They have taken the approach that if people believe in the mode of change; people must focus on measurements that exemplify that mode of change. For example, they believe that a farmer’s ability to sell crops at a fair market price will have significant impact. They therefore can measure farm gate prices, and check the coops books, etc. Quick and Dirty – but based on real information.
Sometimes people need to think of valuating/measuring as the importance of long term R&D in a company. People don’t have all the answers today or even after a year, but if people do a thorough analysis that is kept up to date, people can get a good idea of what makes sense. It is important to measure those parameters that can actually lead to action and change.
Finally, they emphasize the importance of the donor organization and philanthropist being up to speed with the investments. Their aim is to be efficient and have real and lasting impact, popularity with grantees and partner foundations/organizations is not a motivator.