Women attending one of Fundacion Altadis' workshops

Our mission in Stone Soup Consulting is to find the best ingredients that will strengthen the social impact of organisations aiming at leaving a high social footprint. Here is an example of an organisation that accepted to question its projects’ management processes, and therefore has maximised its social impact potential, the Altadis Foundation. Let’s see how the Altadis Foundation changes its recipe!

The Altadis Foundation is the non-profit Organisation of Imperial Tobacco Group. It supports initiatives that reduce extreme poverty, improve food security, increase well-being and ensure environmental sustainability in developing countries. Our first contact with them dates back to early 2014 when we were asked to evaluate the social impact of a sample of eight projects. This would make the Altadis Foundation understand, quantify and better communicate the impact of its work. What was the result? The Altadis Foundation could confirm that its projects were indeed generating impact in its main beneficiaries and that these impacts had been sustained over time. However, there was still an ingredient missing that would enable a stronger social impact of the Foundation’s projects.

Clear diagnostic

With the help of Stone Soup Consulting in spring 2015, the Altadis Foundation implemented a whole revision of its organisational processes: selection, monitoring and evaluation. A clear diagnostic was key to identify the steps (including the roles of all actors concerned) that needed redefinition and the tools that had to be improved to reach a more targeted strategy. The first main challenge was to agree on the objectives of the Foundation, its intervention criteria and its underlying concepts - sustainable livelihood and social impact. The choice of the technical terms is essential so that no misinterpretation is possible and the messages coherence guaranteed. Secondly, we had to make sure that the theory of change framework and the sustainable livelihood index were integrated in the tools used for the selection, monitoring and evaluation steps - these are project sheet, mid-term and final report, and evaluation form. Last but not least, the revision of the internal and external communication to make it more fluid was a transversal aspect of our support.

As a result of this work, the Altadis Foundation became more able to support those projects that create the highest impact in the field and to monitor and evaluate them according to its principles. According to Ines Cassin, the managing director of the Foundation: “the social impact evaluation of our projects helps improve the outcomes of our support to the most deprived people in those countries where social needs are huge. Moreover, it enables us to center our efforts on the sustainability and efficiency of our social investment”.

What about you: would you like to improve your soup’s recipe?

By Clara de Bienassis, partner at Stone Soup Consulting.