Feedback from the refresh provided clear learning points that future users of the resource might benefit from reflecting on:
- the importance of dialogue in the evaluation process – it is not a process to be undertaken by an individual in a room on their own; rather it should actively involve colleagues, service users, partner organisations and others. In the pilot, dialogue appeared to be key to the successful development of some organisations’ logic models.
- the process of evaluation and evidencing impact was often thought by participants to be as, if not more, important than the final documentary evidence – participants said that they enjoyed and found value in the chance to reflect deeply, consider projects from multiple angles, and to engage with colleagues and partners as they did this.
- assumptions you make should be reflected on as a fundamental part of the evaluation process – identifying assumptions you are making can be very challenging; for example, if you are assuming that family learning makes a positive difference to outcomes for children and their parents, then do you have evidence to support this, in case you were asked to provide it? By identifying assumptions you are ensuring you are clear in your justification for a particular project or programme, or for undertaking it in a particular way.
What advice would you give to other organisations about measuring impact?
- Start the process when making funding applications as it will help articulate what you hope to achieve and enable you to get a project off to a flying start with clarity of purpose and how success will be measured.
- Share as widely as possible in your organisation both formally and informally. Widespread adoption of the logic modelling will help to maintain clarity of purpose and help to inform stakeholders of the social value of your work.
- Evidencing the Impact is a handy gateway to a range of evaluation tools and the legislative framework in which they operate but is not a short cut to demonstrating the impact of your work.
Tim Green, Education Development Manager, South East Scotland