National Performance Framework

Improving how we predict and measure our impact

December 21, 2021 by No Comments | Category continuous improvement

All sectors (public, third and private) need to consider the potential impacts of their projects. And, once projects are underway, to evidence the actual impacts they make.

Across the public and third sectors, in particular, organisations have a duty to demonstrate impact. To justify the funding they receive, as well as to support cases for future projects, grants or other types of support.

Organisations are usually required to evidence impact using financial or numerical-based indicators. What many organisations struggle with, is being able to consistently and fully demonstrate impact that relates to societal, economic, cultural or environmental benefits. And to reflect the contributions made by all parties – as projects may be multi-sector and multi-disciplinary.

Measuring our impact on Scotland’s Wellbeing Framework

Scotland’s National Performance Framework (NPF) describes the type of country in which we all want to live. All public authorities in Scotland need to demonstrate their alignment to, and impact on, the NPF. And we would like the third and private sectors to do that too. Yet we currently have no way to collect, measure, analyse, report and communicate the impact of multi-sector activities on the National Outcomes. We also have no way to enable different sectors (charities or businesses, for example) to evidence their contribution to achieving the National Outcomes.

The NPF sits above all other frameworks in Scotland. Aggregating impact from individual interventions or services up to the National Outcomes happens at multiple levels. There are also many lower-level frameworks with outcomes and indicators that the Scottish Government must report progress towards.

This all leads to the act of reporting impact being disconnected and resource intensive.

How might we improve our impact measurement?

One part of the solution may be technology related. We’ve teamed up with colleagues who share a similar challenge in reporting and communicating impact against designated frameworks. Social Investment Scotland (SIS) is Scotland’s leading social and impact investor. And CivTech is the Scottish Government’s flagship innovation programme.

Together we’re seeking a streamlined, user friendly way to predict impact when planning future projects. And then track developing outputs and outcomes to demonstrate their full impact.

We (SIS, CivTech, National Performance Framework Unit) have all examined existing platforms/tools and/or attempted to develop our own solutions. Encountering a range of challenges along the way. So, we do not underestimate the complexity of this challenge! We are very excited to see what applicants come up with!

We believe that streamlining and standardising a way to collect, measure, analyse, report and communicate the impact of multi-sector activities will be game-changing. Every sector and organisation in Scotland could use the solution and help capture Scotland’s progress towards our National Outcomes. A successful solution may also help us further shape the NPF and how we engage with partner organisations.

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