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Measuring the impact of a digital platform with a specialised model

Author: Content Manager/Tuesday, December 20, 2016/Categories: Farm digital

The AgriPlace digital platform was developed for the FarmDigital project and helps growers to speed up the certification process through saving and reusing data. Wageningen Economic Research researcher Lan Ge compiled a report titled ‘Impact Assessment for Digital Compliance Platform: A Conceptual Model’ to measure the impact of a platform.

What does the report contain?

In order to measure the impact of a platform you need a conceptual model which is exactly what this model provides. This will indicate what changes can be practically ascribed to the platform. To make credible claims, you need to precisely indicate why you believe that the platform has instigated these changes. These changes could be auditors that are starting to work digitally and are less likely to visit a company in person, for example.

Conceptual model informed by spheres of impact

This model uses three spheres of impact. These are gradations of the impact that you exert. The sphere of control is where you have direct impact and control. The sphere of influence is a little further removed: you influence your environment but, in turn, the environment influences you as well. How this happens is less clear. The sphere of interest is the larger context; the global and social impact that you want to achieve in the long term. For our platform this concerns food safety and sustainability.

Who is this report aimed at?

This model is for researchers who want to measure the impact of a compliance platform. It is a handy reference to determine what has happened in the different spheres of impact. It is based on existing models that measure impact for policy evaluations or development aid. We have adjusted these models to fit our context because the interventions are different. As intervention, developing a software platform is very different from interventions such as the introduction of new policies. This model was developed specifically to measure the impact of a digital compliance platform.

Is the effect of the FarmDigital platform being measured?

No, it is still too early for that. The platform is still in its testing phase. But the initial situation has been well documented. We have also conducted interviews with platform users. This has established the baseline. The real impact measurement can be done in a few years’ time, but this won't be within FarmDigital. Based on the experiences of the first users you can make an educated guess about how much time growers will save in the certification process. In some cases, this is substantial and ranges from one to three days to less than a day.

Click here to access the report  ‘Impact Assessment for Digital Compliance Platform: A Conceptual Model’ 



 Lan Ge


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