Impact round-up: August 2018

Welcome to our August impact round-up. Each month at NCVO Charities Evaluation Services we summarise the latest news in impact and evaluation and share useful guides, resources and data collection tools.

Impact and evaluation in the new civil society strategy

Earlier this month, the government published its civil society strategy. In a new blog, our lead consultant Alex Farrow focuses on what the strategy has to say about impact and evaluation. Alex notes plenty of positive points – notably in the strategy’s recognition of the complexity and importance of evaluation, and its focus on building the evidence base around youth services.

But we’re disappointed that the strategy is light on commitments to support (or fund) evaluation in voluntary organisations. There exists a huge inequality in evaluation skills and knowledge in our sector. While we’re taking action to overcome this (see our free resources on outcome and impact measurement), we want the government to do more. We look forward to seeing stronger actions coming from the government as the strategy moves to implementation.

If you’re interested in reading about other aspects of the strategy, NCVO has published a series of blogs on what the strategy says about public services, volunteering, campaigning, funding and finance, and more.

New funding to improve charity impact

The Inspiring Impact programme has been awarded £600,000 of National Lottery funding to improve charity impact. The programme will bring together Inspiring Impact and the Impact Management Programme to improve the free impact practice support available to the sector.

All charities and social enterprises across the UK will be able to continue to access online resources, as well as new regional networks and grant funding opportunities.

The programme will be delivered by New Philanthropy Capital, us at NCVO Charities Evaluation Services, Social Value UK, Evaluation Support Scotland, Community Evaluation Northern Ireland and Wales Council for Voluntary Action. Read more about the programme – or if you’ve got questions, comments or ideas, get in touch with the team at

New evidence review: the impact of early childhood education and care

The Early Intervention Foundation has published a review looking at the evidence base around the impacts of early childhood education and care. The report reviews over 100 studies from the last ten years, focusing on studies with high-quality empirical evidence of impact. It also makes recommendations about the areas which show promise in terms of supporting the development of children from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Impact measurement through a social media platform

Access Impact Management programme grantee Noise Solution, who run one-to-one music mentoring programmes for young people, have shared their experience of creating a new content management system for impact measurement. The system is a bespoke micro social media platform that participants in Noise Solution’s programmes, their families and other professionals can use to interact. It’s already proving effective, helping Noise Solution track individual stories and user engagement. Read more in their blog.

Come and join our team

Passionate about making the voluntary sector more effective? We’re recruiting for a new senior consultant (evaluation and impact) to be part of our successful and growing team. Come and join us to manage consultancy projects, deliver training, and help us win new work. It’s a highly rewarding role, where you’ll support organisations to learn, develop and strengthen the work they do. The deadline for applications is 24 September – find out more here.

On the blogs and social media

Training and events

NCVO provides training and events covering a range of topics, from impact to governance, volunteer management and data protection reform – with discounts for NCVO members (not a member? Find out more).

Here’s what’s coming up:

We can also come to you. Our courses can be delivered at your venue, providing an affordable way to train groups of staff, trustees or volunteers. Contact us for more information.


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Harriet is a senior consultant at NCVO Charities Evaluation Services – the team helps voluntary organisations, volunteering programmes and their funders with practical impact measurement and evaluation.

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