We have generally leaned toward the corporate model, shying away from photos and anecdotes because we don’t want to encourage that type of behavior. Also, it is difficult to verify such stories unless we actually listen and make a record of those stories. It would be great if we could, but given our resource limitations, we are trying to figure how to “humanize” our reports without having to reply on the NGOs for their stories because we can not be 100% certain that they are correct.
One of the dangers in measuring the effectiveness is that it might dissuade the innovativeness of the projects funders are prepared to support. Measures if not tailored correctly will be overly harsh on new groups as they test out new interventions and approaches to solving problems. If this is calculated without some leniency for such innovativeness these organizations will look worse and donors may shy away from them.
Thus, measurement standards must strike the right balance between innovation and effectiveness. This means that means that measurement frameworks, especially in the beginning of an organization’s life, must to be tailored to allow for innovation. As a organization grows and matures, more stringent measurement criteria can be applied.
The key point is that a “one-size-fits-all” approach will not work.