In Pursuit of Happiness:
Understanding the impact
of community projects
Lessons from the Gloucestershire Action POV
resear...
The plan..
Brief introduction to the Gloucestershire POV
project
Evidence of impact - What we found in terms
of impacts an...
What we set out to do in
the project
Establish and value the economic contribution
of 3 SPO’s in Gloucestershire:
To skill...
The Gloucestershire POV
Partnership
CCRI
GAVCA
GCCCP GL11 Fairshares
A game of two halves..
Broadly speaking, all case work was
undertaken in two stages:
Year 1: Seeking to measure socio-
eco...
Gloucester City Centre
Partnership
Y1 Project Orienteer (SRA Stages B&C) - led
by Barry using CCRIs initial Economic
Outco...
Greyfriars Impact map for Young People and
community
Activities Short term
Outcomes
Medium term
Outcomes
Long-term
Outcome...
The Fielding and Platt
SRA
Heritage Lottery funded about the memories of
F&P, managed by Ollie Taylor
Stages A, B and C of...
Stakeholder group Medium-longer term Outcomes
Previous employees of
F&P
Increased resilience and self
esteem
Increase in s...
Summary of GCCCP
outcomes
GCCCP
Greyfriars Bowling Green Improved mental health
Improved confidence and self-esteem
Increa...
Fielding and Platt benfit-
investment ratio
Value of Inputs (Total
Investment, including in-kind):
£100,900
Value of Input...
GL11 - Impact evidence
Assessment of 4 projects (Deployment of volunteers; Employability
courses; Try to Remember project;...
Key messages from GL11, the process of
forecasting impact using the SRA has...
..assisted in writing a bid for a subsequen...
Purpose of the Social
Return Assessment
(SRA) tool
To make the processs of valuing impact more accessible to
small, volunt...
SRA tool - the options
3 levels of sophistication (With emphasis on
simplicity and flexibility):
• Stage A…Exploring (and ...
SRA - Stage A -
Describing change
Understand what has changed, and why, and
how stakeholders have been affected
Scope your...
SRA - Stage B -
Measuring change
Collect some data and obtain some
measurements for each of your indicators
Decide which o...
SRA - Stage C -
Valuing change
Calculate the initial investment (giving all time,
resources, goods and services a financia...
Final step of the SRA
tool....
Reflect on what the findings mean for your
organisation and your target audience
Should you...
Consider how you might go about
implementing a tool like SRA:
• Why do you need to assess your impact?
• What level of the...
Working in groups of 5 or 6 have a go at
considering challenges and solutions in
relation to each of these questions
Try a...
CCRI, Oxtalls Campus,
UoG
Paul Courtney pcourtney@glos.ac.uk
Carol Kambites ckambites@glos.ac.uk
Good luck!
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Understanding the Impact of Community Projects

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Paul Courtney, CCRI, University of Gloucestershire
- An overview of impact evidence gathered through the Gloucestershire POV project involving three small SPOs
- An introduction to the Social Return Assessment (SRA) tool that was developed over the course of the project through action research and the challenges revealed in developing it
- A discussion around implications for small VCS organisations with respect to measuring impact and the associated support and systems required to achieve it

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Understanding the Impact of Community Projects

  1. 1. In Pursuit of Happiness: Understanding the impact of community projects Lessons from the Gloucestershire Action POV research project
  2. 2. The plan.. Brief introduction to the Gloucestershire POV project Evidence of impact - What we found in terms of impacts and social value The SRA tool we developed and the associated challenges Measuring impact and the systems and resources to achieve it – A discussion
  3. 3. What we set out to do in the project Establish and value the economic contribution of 3 SPO’s in Gloucestershire: To skill the SPOs in the identification an valuation of their activities To assist them in planning future activities in light of revealed impacts (And process) To produce a guidance pack to assist the VCS in Gloucestershire to assess their impact
  4. 4. The Gloucestershire POV Partnership CCRI GAVCA GCCCP GL11 Fairshares
  5. 5. A game of two halves.. Broadly speaking, all case work was undertaken in two stages: Year 1: Seeking to measure socio- economic outcomes using the principles from a tool originally designed for RCCs Year 2: Based on these experiences, piloting and sequentially developing a new set of impact guidance for the VCS, which has resulted in the SRA tool
  6. 6. Gloucester City Centre Partnership Y1 Project Orienteer (SRA Stages B&C) - led by Barry using CCRIs initial Economic Outcomes tool Y1 Greyfriars Bowling Green (SRA Stage A)- led by Paul using an SROI ‘Theory of Change’ Y2 Fielding and Platt SRA (SRA Stages A, B and C)- Led by Ollie Taylor and Barry, with Paul advising as the SRA was also developed and refined
  7. 7. Greyfriars Impact map for Young People and community Activities Short term Outcomes Medium term Outcomes Long-term OutcomesRange of training/educational/rec reational activities Representation in community Exposure to substance mis-use programmes and information Off street meetings and gatherings as opposed to on street Reduced contact with street drinkers Increased Local democracy/group participation/social networking Increase in youth volunteering Greater inter-generational activity Improved relationships between youth and police Improved safety and security Increased trust, community cohesion & well being Improved confidence and self esteem Improved employment and FE/HE prospects Reduction in juvenile crime Improved physical health Improved mental health Reduction in alcohol abuse Reduction in crime levels through cultural shift Reduced pressure on health service and criminal justice system in welfare payments and increase in tax receipts Reduction Facilities for formal/informal youth provision
  8. 8. The Fielding and Platt SRA Heritage Lottery funded about the memories of F&P, managed by Ollie Taylor Stages A, B and C of the SRA tool Undertaken by Ollie with support from Barry and Paul taking an advisory / mentoring role. In tandem the tool and workbook was developed, tested and refined by the CCRI team. Stage C still in process. Findings reported in the POV Final Report, early Nov.
  9. 9. Stakeholder group Medium-longer term Outcomes Previous employees of F&P Increased resilience and self esteem Increase in supportive relationships Increase in sense of trust and belonging Relatives of F&P employees Legacy to leave future generations Volunteers Increased competence, engagement and purpose Increased resilience and self esteem Supportive relationships Increased sense of trust and belonging VCS Increased vibrancy and efficiency of VCS Increased public support for VCS Local Community Increased volunteering in the communitySubjective well being - Happiness
  10. 10. Summary of GCCCP outcomes GCCCP Greyfriars Bowling Green Improved mental health Improved confidence and self-esteem Increased trust and community cohesion Increase in youth volunteering and intergeneration activity Reduction in juvenile crime Project Orienteer Improved physical health and weight loss Increased social interaction Local income generation through contracting Training in the sport of orienteering Fielding and Platt – Three main outcome groups: -Health and well being -Skills development (especially IT) -Community Increased resilience and self esteem Increased supportive relationships Increased sense of trust and belonging Development of IT skills Increased emotional well being Increased competence, engagement and purpose Increased efficiency and funding sources for voluntary and community sector Increased capacity building and volunteering
  11. 11. Fielding and Platt benfit- investment ratio Value of Inputs (Total Investment, including in-kind): £100,900 Value of Inputs (Grant investment) £42,900 Total Present Value of Outcomes (after deadweight, attribution, displacement, drop-off and discounted at 3.5%) £149,197 Benefit-to-investment ratio 1.48:1 Benefit-to-investment ratio (Grant) 3.48:1
  12. 12. GL11 - Impact evidence Assessment of 4 projects (Deployment of volunteers; Employability courses; Try to Remember project; and a forecasting of Cam-Unity project using SRA) revealed a range of outcomes including: Improved Quality of life Improvement in sense of engagement and self worth in 75 elderly people suffering memory loss Personal development of staff members, volunteers and carers Improved employability of volunteers Increased social interaction and trust in the community Reduced demands on local GP services (potential reduced expenditure for the State)
  13. 13. Key messages from GL11, the process of forecasting impact using the SRA has... ..assisted in writing a bid for a subsequent project through its emphasis on being outcome-focussed ..helped to sharpen the focus of the Cam-Unity project, clarifying objectives ..provided a simple information system for on-going monitoring and evaluation, and identified what needed to be monitored ..made suggestions for effective management of the project ..provided basis for better communication by GL11 ..assisted in staff development ..provided the framework for an evaluative assessment in 2 years time
  14. 14. Purpose of the Social Return Assessment (SRA) tool To make the processs of valuing impact more accessible to small, voluntary organisations To Simplify (and de-mystify) SROI To emphasise the importance and value of assessing OUTCOMES To reveal to SPOs some good practice in terms of planning, record keeping and monitoring that might be useful beyond impact measurement
  15. 15. SRA tool - the options 3 levels of sophistication (With emphasis on simplicity and flexibility): • Stage A…Exploring (and describing the change) • Stage B…Measuring the Change • Stage C…Valuing the Change • Level 1 comprises only A • Level 2 comprises A plus B • Level 3 comprises A plus B plus C
  16. 16. SRA - Stage A - Describing change Understand what has changed, and why, and how stakeholders have been affected Scope your activities and identify all of your stakeholders (who has been affected and involved) Map out your outcomes to understand how one outcome leads to another over varying time frames
  17. 17. SRA - Stage B - Measuring change Collect some data and obtain some measurements for each of your indicators Decide which outcomes are significant and identify ways of establishing that change has taken place (Indicators) Take into account what would have happened anyway, and how much change you can really attribute to your project
  18. 18. SRA - Stage C - Valuing change Calculate the initial investment (giving all time, resources, goods and services a financial value) Identify financial approximations (proxies) for each your outcomes Calculate a ratio of benefits to investment (i.e 3:1) and check how sensitive it is to changes in the main assumptions
  19. 19. Final step of the SRA tool.... Reflect on what the findings mean for your organisation and your target audience Should you be doing anything differently? You should now have systems n place for understanding and monitoring your outcomes.. Discuss with colleagues and your stakeholders before going public!
  20. 20. Consider how you might go about implementing a tool like SRA: • Why do you need to assess your impact? • What level of the SRA tool would you need to follow – do you need to measure, value or just describe change? • Who are your target audience? • What information data do you have to hand? • How much do you know about your target beneficiaries? • How will you go about consulting them – and will they be accessible / receptive? • What skills do you have available to evaluate, monitor, measure and value change and produce impact estimates? • What support or resources do you need – How could the Impact Hub help you evidence your impact?
  21. 21. Working in groups of 5 or 6 have a go at considering challenges and solutions in relation to each of these questions Try and come up with some recommendations for the Impact Hub on how they might provide a structure for helping small organisations establish their impact Identify a rapporteur to feed the main issues and recommendations back to the group
  22. 22. CCRI, Oxtalls Campus, UoG Paul Courtney pcourtney@glos.ac.uk Carol Kambites ckambites@glos.ac.uk Good luck!

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