Effektmålingens effekt: En analyse af effektmålingens konstitutive konsekvenser i Dansk Flygtningehjælp

Karina Ertmann Krammer

Student thesis: Master thesis


Since 2007, the Danish Ministry of Refugee, Immigration and Integration Affairs has demanded the use of impact measurement from volunteer organisations who wish to apply for government funding. Since impact measurement is fairly new to the voluntary world, I believe it is both relevant and necessary to investigate what happens when voluntary organisations start measuring the impact of the voluntary work in this specific way. The voluntary organisation Danish Refugee Council (DRC) functions as my case. With this thesis, I wish to contribute with a reflexive and critical view to add alternative angles to the discussion of impact measurement in voluntary organisations. I observe impact measurement as a steering technology. Through this perspective, I analyse how impact measurement has constitutive consequences for DRC. The analysis is based on Niklas Luhmanns notion of steering (1997) and technology (1990) and Niels Thyge Thygesen and Niels Åkerstrøm Andersens (e.g. 2004, 2007) development of these notions. According to these theories, steering technologies are not innocent and neutral tools, because they involve social and communicative conditions. Therefore, I observe impact measurement as an active tool that comes to define the organisation in a specific way, and my analysis shows how this applies in my case. In short, my conclusion is that the impact measurement used in DRC focuses so overwhelmingly on the wanted effects that the needs of the users, the quality of the help given and the role of the volunteer become all about achieving the wanted effects – while all other perspectives are excluded. Therefore, I recommend volunteer organisations to conduct second order leadership in order to observe how impact measurement influences their organisation’s possibility of communicating and decision-making.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2010
Number of pages97