Are you measuring what matters? – Nicola Swan, ESS

Have you ever thought…

… I know my work is helping change attitudes about home safety but I’m only reporting on numbers of people I talk to. I don’t think it shows the full picture. 

… I’m not sure what I could be measuring to show the difference I am making!

… When reporting on my impact, do I need to prove that I have prevented unintentional harm from happening?

Then perhaps the new evaluation framework which we have been working on can help you.

Earlier this year, SCSN and Evaluation Support Scotland (ESS) brought together practitioners from across the sector to develop an evaluation framework to help those working in the field to have a better understanding about their outcomes and how to measure what matters in their work to prevent unintentional harm.

With valuable input from the working group, we were able to produce a draft framework, which sets out:

  • Suggested short- and medium-term outcomes which typically show the difference practitioners make
  • Example indicators that practitioners can realistically expect to achieve and measure
  • Steps to keep in mind when choosing or design evaluation methods

Carlene from RoSPA tested out framework with a workshop on the management of water safety in Scotland’s local authorities and found that the workshop links well to the evaluation framework. Carlene said:

“RoSPA was keen to test out the new framework within a project in water safety and was able to use it to measure the impact of our recent workshop with RNLI on the Management of Water Safety in Scotland’s local authorities. We were pleased with the results as it showed a clear impact in the short term as well as a lasting medium term impact on local authorities’ focus on preventative activities. The framework itself is a useful map and guide to keeping the whole process of evaluation on track. We found it straight forward to use and will continue to put the framework into practice with future projects.”

Others from the working group are exploring how the framework can help them evaluate the impact of work to prevent falls among older people.

We are now offering others from across the community safety sector the opportunity to test out the framework. Whether you run safety talks for school pupils, provide advice to older people about home safety or train other practitioners on unintentional harm, this is a great opportunity to access free evaluation support and shape a new resource.

What we can offer:

  • An opportunity to reflect, learn and improve your current approach to evaluation
  • ESS will come and visit you where you work and help plan with you how you can use the framework to identify outcomes, indicators and choose methods to help you measure what matters to show your impact

In return we ask that volunteers:

  • Are open to trying new things in terms of evaluating impact
  • Have the time to do this (including one face to face meeting with ESS)
  • Are able to make changes to existing evaluation approaches

To find out more please email Hannah Dickson.

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