CIDS is a standardized way to represent a SPO’s impact model (i.e., definition) and the impact (i.e., effect) their implementation has on its stakeholders. This creates a uniform representation while allowing each SPO flexibility to design an impact model that is most relevant to it. The benefits of this flexible standard are:

  1. Better impact: Each organization makes some difference, but their most impactful stories are when the data can be connected and aggregated. A common impact data standard allows networks to pool data, to see impact and use the data to improve impact.
  2. Sophisticated analysis. CIDS makes it possible for researchers to integrate their data thereby enabling a plethora of analysis, e.g., longitudinal and transversal studies, using a variety of methods. This may lead to better understandings of needs, and a better understanding of what works.
  3. More autonomy. Donors, investors, government agencies are increasingly aware that old impact reporting techniques have been a burden to grantees and investors. A common impact data model provides funders the standard formats that they need to understand portfolio-level impacts, while leaving SPOs the autonomy to measure impact in ways that best-fit the SPOs own data needs.
  4. Less paperwork: A common impact data model allows impact data to be represented in ways that can accommodate the reporting needs of diverse funders. SPOs a common impact data model will need to do less custom reporting.
  5. Greater visibility: Enable the tagging of an organization’s content on the internet making it easier for search engine users to find impact content on the web.
  6. More versatility: A common data model makes it easier for organizations to connect their impact measurement with other measurement standards, such as the UN SDG Global Indicator Framework, IRIS+ and the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) Standard.

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