Active Voice partners take part in Measuring Social Change Workshop

Active Voice partners take part in Measuring Social Change Workshop

Last week Healthy Stadia, alongside partners from the EU Erasmus+ project Active Voice, took part in a workshop facilitated by inFocus, exploring social impact measurement.

Social change is the effect on people and communities that happens as a result of an action or inaction, an activity, project, programme or policy. Good social impact evidence can help organisations to improve their services, compare achievements with similar organisations and communicate the difference they are making to be able to attract further investment.

‘Measuring social change,’ refers to the measurement of both short and long-term changes for individuals and wider communities. A combination of techniques can be used to achieve this: tracking over time, research that illustrates your activities do result in changes and some intermediate steps to show progress toward change. The techniques employed depend on your audience and the purpose of analysis but one thing is clear – including beneficiaries thoughts and ideas are vital in moving any activity forward.

There are many reasons to conduct social impact measurement (SIM), including:

Accountability: SIM can support you to report back to funders to justify funds spent. Organisations are also accountable to the communities in which they operate, their board of trustees, partners and in some cases the general public.

Fundraising and growth: Funders increasingly view quality impact measurement as an essential prerequisite to granting funds. Organisations that can successfully demonstrate their ability to measure impact gain a strong advantage in a competitive market.

Improving Activities and Results: Organisations working to positively impact society must be able to understand how and which activities are working. They are then able to improve or enhance the delivery of activities or increase impact.

Marketing & communications: Impact measurement produces a significant amount of data which can be used for various marketing and communication purposes. It is important the staff have key statistics from the impact measurement process on hand for potential supporters or other stakeholders in the organisation.

Collaboration: Attempting to solve complex problems can require a ‘joined up’ approach with organisations working in partnership. Shared SIM across organisations can help to drive cross-sector learning.

Healthy Stadia is currently exploring how to improve data capture within our bespoke lifestyle behaviour change project Healthy Goals and our sugary drinks awareness campaign, Give Up Loving Pop! by embedding a social impact measurement framework.

The Active Voice workshop on SIM took place prior to the MOVE Congress 2017 in Birmingham, UK, from 4-6 October. Stakeholders in grassroots sport and physical activity gathered from six continents and countries as far and wide as New Zealand, Costa Rica, the US and Brazil to discuss the latest developments in physical activity and how we can reduce sedentary time.

For more information about the MOVE Congress, click here.


Michael Viggars

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