Impact-oriented monitoring

We want to implement our goal of systematic impact orientation in the Foundation's funding activities in particular by introducing impact-oriented monitoring.

For us, impact-oriented monitoring means:

  • We have clearly defined goals and expectations for the impact of our funding activities (IOOI model).
  • We systematically evaluate the available data on research results from the project reports (outputs and outcomes) as well as additionally collected data on our funded projects and beyond, and use them to evaluate our funding actions in an evidence-based manner.

The effects of our funding activities occur on three levels in terms of an impact cascade:

  1. The concrete results of funded projects (outputs and outcomes) give rise to the effects of our funding initiatives and projects.
  2. The funding initiatives and projects contribute to the impact of the profile areas. 
  3. The impact of the profile areas, in turn, affects the achievement of objectives and the impact of funding activities as a whole.

Impact-oriented monitoring will address all three levels of the impact cascade. 

The impact of our funding activities can be seen as follows:

  • In the case of knowledge-driven research, the impact is mainly reflected in scientific results and effects within science,
  • In the case of transformative research, societal effects can also be observed.

When implementing impact-oriented monitoring, we proceed with caution and a sense of proportion in order to avoid misguided incentives, inefficient measures and "data graveyards". We are guided by oriented towards the following principles, which guide our actions:

  • Impact unfolds over time and often far beyond project completion.  
  • Impacts are multi-layered, non-linear phenomena, which limits their causal attribution to individual funding measures.
  • Appropriate conclusions about impacts can only be derived on the basis of quantitative and qualitative data (indicators).
  • Depending on the funding context (target, disciplines, actors, etc.), we use specific indicators and survey methods to track impact.
  • We share information with our grantees about impact and impact tracking.
  • Our impact tracking is based on quality-assured data and professional data management. We use data sparingly.