Launching Acticity: Impact assessment for sustainable urban projects

Launching Acticity: Impact assessment for sustainable urban projects

An initiative led by four GLM students
  • Clara, Frédérique, Félix et Romane © Acticity Clara, Frédérique, Félix et Romane © Acticity
  • Logo Acticity © ActicityLogo Acticity © Acticity

Acticity, an organization focussing on impact assessment is set to be launching on the 18th of April. The project was initiated by students of the Urban School : Félix Vidal, Frédérique Triballeau, Romane Butin and Clara Fouilland.

Acticity aims at valorising and improving the impact of sustainable urban projects, by providing them with an exhaustive impact assessment that involves all the stakeholders of a given project.

We wanted to set up a program to support entrepreneurs and NGOs, or even small public organisations, that provides alternatives to the current transport, energy, waste management, water or food systems. We have found that it is crucial to promote alternatives that are both more socially inclusive, and responsible, and help the companies to improve their social impact’.

The four Master students are planning to conduct evaluations across France and abroad during the gap year 2018-2019. The impact assessments are done on site with the organisations and typically span over a period of 6 to 8 weeks. ‘Our work is quite similar to that of a consultancy, however we always aim to minimize the cost of consultancy to the entrepreneur [or NGO]. We actively seek donors and partner organisations whose contributions can help subsidize these costs and further allow us to best assist the entrepreneurs. It is an important dimension of our project as we often work with relatively small organisations that have a tight budget, all the more in developing cities like Johannesburg, Sao Paulo, or Niamey. It is part of our approach’.

Another key difference is in that our goal is not only to evaluate performance, but also to assess the direct and indirect impact of the organisation, using qualitative and quantitative methods derived from research methodologies we have learned in Sciences Po.’

The objective of their fieldwork studies is to support and valorise the companies and NGOs, and allow them to multiply and expand their activity in the cities in which they operate.These organisations often have a limited understanding of the wide ranging impacts of their own activities. They also struggle to legitimize and communicate about their actions, which prevents them from expanding or from reaching out to new partners’. An exhaustive impact assessment will allow them to valorise their activities and improve their management.

The origins of the project

Back in May 2017, Acticity, led by the four students, was selected by Improve, to undergo training in this field. Improve is a start-up based in Paris which specializes in impact assessment and each year (since 2009) selects a team of youth who will be provided with hands on training and mentorship. This training ran in parallel to their Master’s program Governing the Large Metropolis. They received training on the i3 methodology for impact assessment by specialized consultants. ‘We see this as an opportunity to bring together both training programs, by Improve as well as the Urban School, and also to work with entrepreneurs who have innovative projects and get inspired by them’.

So far Acticity has been signed up for it’s first mission in Aubervilliers (France) and other missions abroad are to come. They have been afforded the support of the Urban School and Enactus and are looking for partners. The launch will be held on April 18, 2018 at Enactus France (Paris, 75019) from 7 to 9pm. To register to the event, send an email to acticity.contact@gmail.com or click here.

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