Impact round-up: September 2020

Welcome to the latest edition of our monthly 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.

New Outcomes Stars for measuring and supporting change

Triangle Consulting have launched two new versions of their Outcomes Star for organisations working in particular sub-sectors. Stars are designed to measure outcomes and improve keywork for service users, services and commissioners.

The Change Star is for use with men who use violence or other abuse against women partners or ex-partners, and are receiving support to change their behaviour.

The Little Star has been developed in collaboration with the Dame Vera Lynn Children’s Charity to support children with motor impairments who are receiving Conductive Education or other therapies.

Due for publication by the end of September is the Integration Star for refugees. Developed with the Refugee Council and Community Refugee Organisations, it explores where support may be needed to integrate into a new country and culture.

Getting excited about evaluation

Data visualisation and reporting expert Ann K. Emery has been telling programme evaluator James Pann about her efforts to end ‘dusty shelf reports’. Among Anne’s tips are creating a Dataviz Wall of Fame, using ‘data placemats’ to engage stakeholders and implementing easy fixes for your reports. Watch a video of the conversation and read the blog.

You can also read our tips on reporting your evaluation findings, including through creative formats, on Knowhow.

Online theory of change training

NCVO’s theory of change training is now online with dates available to book in October and December.

A theory of change is a popular tool used to help you plan and communicate what you do and to support your monitoring and evaluation. In our course, you will learn about and create your own theory of change and narrative. The tool will help you articulate and connect the changes (outcomes) your organisation wants to make with the activities you intend to carry out. We’ll challenge you to think critically about what you are doing and why.

Book now or read more about theory of change on Knowhow.

Call for case studies – community action improving health

Our NCVO colleagues are looking for examples of community projects where volunteering or community action has led to positive health outcomes in a local community.

Public Health England is researching current practice on ‘whole system’ approaches to community-centred public health. This builds on previous guidance on community-centred approaches to health and wellbeing. Community-centred approaches are those that mobilise assets within communities, encourage equity and social connectedness and increase people’s control over their health and lives.

NCVO and PHE are particularly interested in how volunteers in the community and/or voluntary organisations have set up health improvement initiatives in line with PHE guidelines on ‘community-centred public health’.

We will work with you to write up your project as a case study for publication on NCVO Knowhow and NHS websites. Please email if you would like to be considered.

Also in the news and on the blogs

Training and events

We have launched new accessible and affordable online courses, focusing on key topics including funding, governance, strategy and volunteering. We will ensure your learning needs are met through interactive, live sessions with knowledgeable trainers – 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 virtually online, providing an affordable way to train groups of staff, trustees or volunteers. Contact us for more information.



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Avatar photo 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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