The event took place within the context of an ongoing collaborative action research project on impacts of MSPs which was initiated by Partnerships2030 and the Partnerships Resource Centre at the Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus University) in May 2020 and closely works with eight selected MSPs. The objective is to develop actionable knowledge that can directly help MSPs to better monitor, enhance and communicate their impact.
Participating MSPs and the wider MSP community will gain a better understanding on the impact of individual MSPs as well as MSPs more broadly. In addition, the research project explores how backbone organizations can support the MSPs to maximize their impact.
During the event resource persons from the eight MSPs participating in the research shared their insights and lessons learned within seven interactive breakout sessions and participants exchanged on a number of crucial issues that were identified in the first phase of the action research project, centred on how MSPs can better understand, navigate and integrate their impact in their monitoring, evaluation and learning system. Participants were invited to reflect on questions such as
• What is needed to navigate diverse stakeholders’ perspectives of an MSP to make it work in favour of realizing the impact?
• Why is it necessary to measure MSP impact beyond output level and what tools, methods and adequate indicators can be used to do so?
• How can an MSP impact narrative be effectively communicated to internal and external stakeholders?
The event further served as a platform to launch the Impact Narrative Visual and Tool developed through the research project, which aims to support MSPs in capturing their impact and allowing for a richer and deeper understanding of what change happened to whom at what level, why it happened and the resulting implications.
Some of the outcomes of the event as well as links to relevant resources were captured in the collaborative online tool Mural. Learnings and ideas from the event will inform the action research project which is foreseen to generate further insights on the impact of MSPs during the course of this year.