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Measuring social impact | Samana

Samana is a Belgian organisation that strives to see the world through the eyes of people with a chronic illness and their primary caregivers. The organisation has a network of 25,000 volunteers running different activities in support of this target group.

To map the impact of Samana’s work, Voices That Count developed and implemented a narrative impact assessment approach, capturing the voices of chronically ill people, caregivers and volunteers.

In 2019, we collected nearly 1,000 stories to explore the impact of Samana in its various fields of activity:

  • Trainings and information sessions for both caregivers and people with a chronic illness

  • “Keep Traveling”, a project allowing people with a chronic illness to continue to travel, despite their disability

  • Support to primary (family) caregivers

  • Community work - which connects local volunteers with people with chronic illnesses - to fight social isolation.

In a two-day sensemaking workshop with Samana’s employees, the stories were discussed together and the insights further explored.

Next to an impact report which was presented to the subsidising public administration, the whole process boosted the organisation at many levels:

To us, it was an inspiring process and another way of looking at impact through people’s stories. Reading the stories gave us, as staff, a lot of energy and pride. Over the coming months, we want to discuss how to include this narrative approach in the different areas of our organisation.” (Marianne Vergeyle, Deputy Director Samana)

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