Impact round-up: May 2019

Welcome to our May 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.

From theory to reality: theory of change in practice

On Thursday 23 May, over 50 delegates from a range of voluntary sector organisations converged on NCVO to hear and talk about how theory of change can be used for planning, evaluation and making better decisions as funders and grantees. Speakers from Macmillan Cancer Support,  the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Renters’ Rights London shared their experiences of using theory of change and their learning from the process. You can look at the live tweets from the event using the hashtag #NCVOToC and we’ll also be blogging about it.

In the meantime, have a look at our new article on knowhow discussing the different ways that you can use theory of change.

Evaluation society conference: a diverse field

UK Evaluation Society’s annual evaluation conference, themed a diverse field, took place over two days in May. The conference celebrated diversity of the discipline, exploring different types of evaluation, in different fields, and using a range of methods. The conference had sessions from organisations in the public sector, academic evaluators as well as a wide range of evaluation consultancies. The conference included a session to explore a co-designed shared evaluation of the Youth Investment Fund, delivered by Centre for Youth Impact, NPC and The National Lottery Community Fund. The programme evaluation pioneered a method to collect five types of data and developed a digital solution for storage and analysis. On the second day, Charities Evaluation Working Group (ChEW), a practitioner-led network for those working in impact measurement and evaluation in the third sector, led a session to debate on modern approaches to evaluation. You can look back at the live tweets from the conference using the hashtag #UKEvaluation2019.

Eight examples of measuring impact

NESTA have brought together eight examples of different ways that they measure impact in different contexts, including using matched control groups to evaluate volunteering in hospitals and using creative methods to understand what difference an event made to its participants. These case studies illustrate the effectiveness of a variety of methods, depending on the context of the evaluation.

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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Avatar photo Amira is a senior consultant at NCVO Charities Evaluation Services working across projects including delivering open and in-house training, supporting clients to build their evaluation capacity, conducting external evaluations, and supporting clients with strategy development.

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