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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.