Monitoring Impact – How difficult can it be?

9 students completed the Employment 1st Introduction to Hospitality course and we had up to 15 vacancies available through the employer engagement process in Central Bedfordshire with Central Bedfordshire Council and College.  I really want to report how many students are now employed but am struggling with feedback from employers and students alike.  I know interviews have been held and I know that the most popular vacancies were those offering transport but, as for definite numbers, I will need to report those in September.  I guess August is a tricky month to get these kinds of details!pause_technical_difficulties_601995

However this afternoon I am visiting a social enterprise who have invited me to talk about how Social Return on Investment (SROI) could help them better articulate their real impact.  They are involved with leisure and cultural facilities across a wide geography and wish to be able to show the health, economic and community benefits of their activities and show the true return for the investment in their services.  Monitoring the impact will once again require the raw data and engagement of stakeholders to show and measure the change that has taken place as a result of the projects and programmes.  It is an exciting prospect.

Working in and with the public sector for 20 years now, and particularly with Nic and I focussing on delivering better outcomes for our clients, I have a strong focus on monitoring these outcomes and trying to improve them.  We want to be able to tell people the difference we have made for their businesses and to transfer this to other clients to extend the benefit as widely as possible.  Sometimes it is difficult but it is always worth trying!  Top Tips include:

  1. Set up your data collection systems before the project is delivered
  2. Ensure the stakeholders all recognise the need for data collection
  3. Set reasonable timescales to collect it over
  4. Agree an evaluation framework in advance
  5. Set up a post project evaluation meeting before the project is complete
  6. Feedback to the stakeholders and make sure you use the data and evaluation to inform future delivery

Best wishes

Judith