If we know why we want to measure the impacts of urban agriculture, we still need to know how to do it. What is measurable? What is not? How do we assess the social impacts of a project? Which indicators to use? How can we isolate the sole impacts of an urban agriculture project in a territorial context that is constantly changing?
On the 28th of April 2022, CITAG organised a discussion on impact measurement, as part of the inauguration of its new office in central Marseille. This discussion is very important to us at the CIté de l’agriculture, as we have been working from the beginning to document and evaluate our projects, and have been wondering about the methods, costs and political issues involved in pooling our survey results. We organised this talk because we wanted to take a critical stance on impact measurement. To this end, we feel that political viewpoints are just as important as sociological ones. At this talk, we invited Nadine Richez, Thomas Guérin, Marion Douroux and Benoît Dauguet.
The first step was to review together the different types of tools that exist to measure impact.
Then this was opportunity to discuss the definition of evaluation criteria, and in particular, as the question of who sets the criteria?
Identify the reasons why organizations measure the impact of their projects : funding constraints / strategic objectives / ethics…
Then we talked about the question of costs, the main obstacle to impact measurement. How are costs defined?
And in this way, returned to a more structural/macro analysis similar, as this is precisely what distinguishes small structures from large companies, for whom cost is not an obstacle and who can then measure their impact and develop compensation policies. We also thought about looking at the concept of social innovation as a possible synthesis.