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IMPACT 20/20 NEWSLETTER


Impact 2020 Principles

As a harmonizing framework to guide enterprises to appropriately measure their non-financial performance, IMPACT 20/20 is based on six foundational principles that articulate the accountability challenges faced by organisations and institutions operating in the South African region. These principles are:

Innovation in approach to applying global standards locally is critical. This is particularly important in the development of indicators of success, aligned to strategic and operational objectives, that are informed by stakeholders and which are appropriate for the South African context where issues of sustainable development and human rights are paramount.
Measurement criteria should stem from national agendas, regulatory standards, business mission, and stakeholder expectations. Rigor, relevance, comparability and integration are criteria to assess a performance measurement system. Measurement is about gathering valid information to inform strategic positioning and stakeholder dialogue and will ensure reliable, replicable, and timely stakeholder expectations. Such data must be objectively verified.
Partnership is a prerequisite for the successful implementation of a non-financial accountability system. Meaningful particiation of stakeholders is critical to such processes. Stakeholder participation must be secured through a sincere invitation, on the part of an enterprise, to its stakeholders, as it endeavours to measure and account for its non-financial performance. To minimize stakeholder scepticism, an enterprise must make adequate and appropriate awareness and trust building interventions.
Ability of an enterprise to efficiently, effectively and economically use resources to attain objectives is often not xplicitly addressed in measurement systems. Global standards tend to focus on the measurement side of performance, as a post-implementation/output evaluation, rather than input/capacity requirements but deficiencies in an enterprise's ability/capacity are often linked to performance gaps. Capacity includes capital (financial, technological, physical, etc.), human (people, knowledge, skill, experience, leadership, management, etc.), organisational
Commitment to ensure a positive non-financial impact must be embedded in an enterprise's management ethos and practices. Non financial accountability adds value to an enterprise only when its stakeholders understand its significance for the sustainability of the enterprise and themselves.
Transformation for the respect, protection, promotion and fulfillment of human rights are the core standards to measure impact. Measurement is at three levels - voluntarily standards from an enterprise or industry (e.g., codes of conduct and guiding values/principles), global standards (e.g., SA8000, ISO9000, ISO14000, etc.) and national regulatory frameworks (Constitution-Bill of Rights, Labour legislation, etc.).

The following schematic captures the IMPACT 20/20 non-financial accounting management process:
The first step in the IMPACT 20/20 process requires an organisation to refocus its activities by revisiting its mission, vision, and guiding values and to clarify its legal obligations. This must be balanced with stakeholder expectations and organisational capacity. This activity is called ANCHORING where the enterprise holds itself still for a moment to develop a picture of itself in the present and the future. Source data for this stage are institutional documents such as business plans, evaluation reports, and strategic planning. The challenge is to accurately assess the relevance and sustainability of organisational mission, organisational capacity to achieve this, and the degree of variance between mission and impact determined through stakeholder perceptions and operational/business unit statistics. This assessment requires that the
organisation set up systems for the collection of qualitative and quantitative MEASUREMENT data. Stakeholder dialogue provides data on how the organisation is perceived which can then be compared and contrasted with operational/business statistical data. Quantitative and qualitative data need to be analysed and summarized in a report that then gets VERIFIED by an external auditor. Once the auditor signs off on the report, this information informs strategic and operational decision-making and becomes the basis for COMMUMICATION with stakeholders. The enterprise reports on its impact in terms of objectives and stakeholders expectations and sets out the commitments it has made for the next operational cycle.

 

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