Validating and improving the impact of complementary currency systems : impact assessment frameworks for sustainable development

Place, Christophe ; Bindenwald, Leander

In: Proceedings of 2nd International Conference on Complementary Currency Systems, 2013, p. 1-27

To bring the credibility and legitimacy required when engaging with public institutions, depending on sustained support from funders and last but not least in order to improve the design and implementation of complementary currency systems (CCS), it is necessary to evidence their impact and validate them as effective and efficient tools to reach sustainable development goals. Recent analysis of... Plus

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    Summary
    To bring the credibility and legitimacy required when engaging with public institutions, depending on sustained support from funders and last but not least in order to improve the design and implementation of complementary currency systems (CCS), it is necessary to evidence their impact and validate them as effective and efficient tools to reach sustainable development goals. Recent analysis of their typology, intentional objectives and sporadic impact evaluations didn’t generate enough basic data and understanding to deliver this evidence, especially because of the lack of comprehensive impact analysis research. Only around a fourth of CCS studies even touch upon impact evaluation processes. A standardisation of impact evaluation in this field is necessary to improve not only the quantity, quality and comparability of the data collected, but also to support longitudinal studies, juxtapositions of different types of currencies in their environmental and socio-economic context. The final aim is to allow a genuine comparison and indexing of the specific impacts of a wide range of currency designs and implementations. This paper, after reviewing the pertinent studies in this and related fields, proposes two complementary connected approaches to achieve this goal in the near future: a prototype of an integral Impact Assessment Matrix based on the goals, objectives and performance indicators as a guideline for the development of evaluation standards and, secondly, the “Theory of Change” methodology as a common, comprehensive and incremental approach for impact evaluation in this innovative field. Both propositions are currently being applied and further developed by the authors. This paper seeks to open a discussion within the discipline of CCS and related fields of research to progress in fulfilling the identified needs for validation and improvement of the impact of CCS.