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The Impact Practice Route Map focuses on what the third sector can do to drive forward impact practice. It sets out key needs and potential actions which third sector partnerships could take forward.
It is not a precise map but indicates the direction of travel and alternative routes may be taken as partnerships develop. If the action areas interest you please contact us.
Doing Data Differently
Sometimes a change in methodology can yield surprisingly rich data and break new ground. Here Jonny Donaghy and Michael McCafferty of Causeway Coast and Glens Policing and Community Safety Partnership, and Brenda Kent of CENI reflect on how a different approach brought benefits.
Using what’s already there
We sometimes rush into developing new approaches and tools for collecting data. But often, a lot of the information is already there – we just might not be making the most out of it. In this paper Julie Meredith of Cats Protection and Nicola McIldoon of CENI consider how they made the most of the available data.
Starting with WHY?
Often we focus on how to measure, but it is important to take a step back and be clear about the purpose of our work – what we are trying to achieve? – before we think about measurement. Here Andrew Steenson of Belfast Health Development Unit and Nicola McIldoon of CENI reflect on the importance of starting by asking Why?
Going back before you go forward
An initiative with multiple stakeholders/partners first needs to develop a collective sense of purpose and consensus for actions before moving to the specifics of measurement. In this paper Elma Greer of the Belfast Health Development Unit and Nicola McIldoon of CENI reflect on the benefits of taking a step back.
Shared Measurement: A creative approach to evaluation
Resources for evaluation are often limited. Using ‘shared measurement’ across different projects or areas of work can save time and money, and add a new dimension to the process. Patricia Donald of Advice NI and Nicola McIldoon of CENI reflect on how they identified common measures across three projects.
Collecting Sensitive Data
Organisations are generally quite well equipped to collect information about their activities and participants. But sometimes they need help to collect objective evidence about the difference they make and to make sense out of that data. Marie Goss of Brain Injury Matters and Nicola McIldoon of CENI contemplate how they gathered useful data in ways sensitive to the circumstances of participants.
Navigating Change: Funding Outcomes Action Learning
This report shares learning and insights from an action learning project that sought to:
- help public and independent funders to strengthen their capacity to fund for outcomes;
- test and adapt existing outcomes support tools in the new public funding context; and
- identify and respond to gaps in the outcomes and impact support available to funders.
The Code of Good Impact Practice provides broad, agreed guidelines for focusing on impact. It sets out a cycle of impact practice and a series of high level principles to follow. Each principle includes a brief description of how your impact practice would look if you were applying the principle, an explanation of why it is important and some ideas about how to implement it. Read more and download publication>
Funders have a critical role to play in shaping behaviour around impact practice. Their approach and support strongly influences practice among their grantees and investees. This framework is designed to encourage good impact practice and to offer practical and useful guidance for funders, and to help funders promote good impact practice amongst the organisations and people they support. Read more and download publication>
Are you leading for Impact?
This is a useful resource reflecting the views of impact leaders. Based on a mix of desk research and interviews with voluntary sector chief executives, it asks leaders in the voluntary sector to reflect on five questions relating to impact:
1. How could focusing on impact help you do your job better?
2. How could focusing on impact help with your long-term finances?
3. Is focusing on impact the new normal?
4. The time to prioritise impact: if not now, when?
5. What could you do today to get started?
Inspiring Impact NI has been providing support over a two year period to a range of VCSE organisations to ‘embed impact practice’ – a range of actions you undertake to help your organisation remain focused on learning, improving and being more impactful. Sported are one of those organisations and we asked them to tell us what embedding impact practice means for them.
Our joint response with Community Evaluation NI to the NI Programme for Government consultation.
A scoping study and discussion paper exploring some of the practical challenges facing public sector funders when introducing outcomes-based funding.
Inspiring Impact NI’s ‘Planning for Impact’ programme represented a unique opportunity to explore how groups and organisations from the Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) sector could be supported through the planning phase of the Plan-Do-Assess-Review impact cycle.
This learning paper provides some useful insights into the experience and highlights achievements, challenges and learning from the programme.
Steps to Measuring Impact – Age NI
This practical learning guide was developed by one of our impact champions, Age NI, to help its member organisation to apply impact practice and measure their impact. Click image to download report
Following a tendering process, in July 2014 Helen McLaughlin and Pamela Montgomery were contracted to conduct an external evaluation of Inspiring Impact NI to supplement an internal evaluation process conducted by CENI. This report represents an interim evaluation of the programme. A final evaluation report will be produced by December 2015.
One of the principal strands of Inspiring Impact NI’s work has been the development of a VCSE support programme with 13 organisations receiving up to £15,000 from the Building Change Trust to test an impact practice approach with their client/member groups .This shared learning paper provides an interim review of achievements to date and sets out some preliminary lessons which have emerged in relation to supporting the sector to apply and use the Inspiring Impact resources to develop impact practice.
Funders’ Shared Learning Paper – Insights and lessons from five statutory sector demonstration projects
Inspiring Impact UK developed strategic resources to support the VCSE sectors and their funders. The Northern Ireland programme then developed a pilot to test these resources in a practical setting with a range of statutory funders to the VCSE sector. This shared learning paper highlights key achievements and recommendations from the five statutory sector demonstration projects.
Case Study – Applying an Impact Practice Approach with the Public Health Agency’s Healthy Living Centres Programme
Scoping Study – Issues, opportunities and barriers to implementing impact practice within Northern Ireland’s statutory sector
As part of the engagement with the public sector, Inspiring Impact NI’s strategic partner, CENI, commissioned PwC and a team of associates including Edgar Jardine, Dr James Magowan and New Philanthropy Capital to undertake a scoping study to explore issues and barriers to implementing impact practice with the NI statutory sector. A report outlining the key findings from this study can be downloaded from the link above.
Tackling youth unemployment is a priority. Over 36,000 young people are not in employment, full time education or training (NEET)—almost 1 in 5 of 16 – 24 year olds in Northern Ireland. This framework is based on the Journey to EmploymenT (JET) Framework produced with charities from Great Britain in 2013. It was adapted for the Northern Irish context with input from charities, funders, local councils and central government.
NPC worked with the Northern Ireland NEETs Forum, DEL, and partners in the Inspiring Impact Northern Ireland programme to customise the JET Framework for the Northern Irish context. This paper explains how we developed the JET Framework for Northern Ireland.
An eight step guide to measuring and improving your impact based on the Journey to
Measuring Up! and the Inspiring Impact Hub Flyer
Measuring Up! is a step-by-step assessment tool which takes organisations through each stage of monitoring and evaluating for impact. The tool has been developed by Inspiring Impact UK partner Charities Evaluation Services, and will help organisations understand what they are doing well and where they need support.
The Inspiring Impact Hub is a one-stop shop for impact resources and tools. It pulls together the widest possible range of resources relevant to improving impact practice, and enables users to search and filter results according to their needs. The Resource Finder has been produced by Substance who lead on Inspiring Impact’s ‘data strand’.
More information on the tools can be found Flyer – Measuring Up and Hub June 2014
The Journey to Employment
Tackling youth unemployment is a priority. Nearly 1.4 million young people are not in employment, full-time education or training—almost 1 in 5 of all young people in the UK. This report helps organisations that work with young people understand and measure the impact they have on the journey to employment. Read more and download the report >
A Good Practice Case Study Report
Learning from examples is a key part of embedding an impact approach into your organisation’s work. Evaluation Support Scotland has produced a short report profiling three organisations in Scotland with a pioneering approach to impact measurement to help others identify what good impact measurement looks like.Read more and download the report >
Are You Leading For Impact?
As part of our work on impact leadership, ACEVO have produced this document based on five questions for voluntary sector leaders. Including a number of case studies of organisations that have successfully implemented an impact approach, and outlining the benefits this can bring, the paper is designed to help charity sector leaders to make the case for investing in impact. Read more and download the report >
Blueprint for shared measurement
Shared measurement involves charities and social enterprises working on similar issues, and towards similar goals, reaching a common understanding of what to measure, and developing the tools to do so. The Blueprint for shared measurement explores what makes a successful shared measurement approach, and outlines the benefits and challenges associated with shared measurement.Read more and download the report >
List of measurement tools and systems
As part of our work on data, tools and systems, Substance gathered information about more than 130 measurement tools and systems. Download an excel spreadsheet containing their details here >
Inspiring impact: Working together for a bigger impact in the UK social sector
Inspiring Impact sets out the current state of impact measurement in the social sector, and outlines how the participants in September 2011′s Impact Summit plan to inspire change and increase the focus on impact to help more charities and funders to make the most positive difference. Download the report >