Links to other tools and approaches for measuring outcomes

Centre for Local Economic Strategies: Evaluating regeneration projects and programmes

A guide primarily aimed at people undertaking an evaluation of a regeneration project, outlining tools and skills through a detailed step-by-step approach.


Charities Evaluation Service

The Charities Evaluation Service (CES) provides information and advice on quality and evaluation systems for the voluntary sector. It offers courses on monitoring and evaluation and quality assurance, and can also provide in house training tailored for a specific organisation. CES can also provide consultancy in monitoring, evaluation and quality systems for charities and funders, as well as help an organisation to develop its own self-evaluation framework, commission an external evaluation or develop a custom-made quality system.


Church Urban Fund

The Church Urban Fund (CUF) is a not for profit organisation supporting social action in the most deprived areas of England. As well as financial support in the form of small grants, the organisation offers material support through a range of online resources and tools for projects to develop, plan and evaluate community based projects. To stimulate some ideas for how to go about telling a project’s story it is worth having a look at their Project Reflection and Development Tools (based on Prove It’s Storyboard and Project Reflection workshops) as well as an approach they have developed for assessing the value that a church contributes to the community.


Specfic information source: 'tools' web page

Community Planning Website

This website was developed by Nick Wates and Associates, the Royal Town Planning Institute, and a host of other partners including the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Department for International Development (DfID). The Community Planning Website has grown out of the Community Planning Handbook that was produced in 2000. Although the book is still available, the website provides instant access to comprehensive information.


HLF Young Roots Project Evaluation Pack

A pack which was put together to help groups funded through The Heritage Lottery Fund Young Roots programme to evaluate their project. It contains activities to use with a group of people who are involved in a project. The activities can work on many types of project and are pick ‘n’ mix, so you can choose those you think will work best.


Specific information source: PDF document

Institute for Volunteering Research

The Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit was developed as a self-assessment exercise for VIO organisations to gain a clearer understanding of the impact of volunteering activity on the four main stakeholder groups involved: the Volunteers; the Host Organisation; the Service Users and the Wider Community. It provides the framework and tools (including ready-made questionnaires) to explore a range of service outputs and potential impacts of their activities - for example on the skills, knowledge and confidence of staff, volunteers and users, and the communities in which they live and work.


Specific information source: toolkit web page

Look Back Move Forward

Look Back Move Forward (LBMF) is a simple participative project evaluation and learning tool. The tool guides a two-hour self-facilitated workshop that focuses on an interactive poster. The poster comes with instructions to guide participants through a series of stages, giving them the opportunity to reflect on a project they have worked on together from a number of different perspectives, as well as to compare and learn from each other’s experiences. The finished poster provides a visual record of the participants' views on the project, which can be used for discussion and learning.


Specific information sources:

Forestry Commission Participation Toolbox

Designed for forest and woodland managers to support public involvement activity. Although the website has been designed for practitioners working in forestry, it provides information relevant for any project officer who is looking to involve a wide group of stakeholders in planning or evaluation activity. The toolbox helps users identify for themselves whom to involve, which tools to use, when to use the tools, and what resources will be needed.


Specific information source: toolbox web page


GreenSTAT is a system that gives local residents the opportunity to comment on the quality of their open spaces and how well they feel they are being managed and maintained. Developed by GreenSpace it records users’ views of their local parks and green spaces, and is used by projects funded through HLF’s Parks for People programme.


Museum and Libraries Association – Inspiring Learning for All

The Measure Learning Toolkit provides a method for using what people say about their learning experiences in museums, archives and libraries to provide evidence of impact. It uses a framework based on a range of Generic Learning Outcomes (GLOs) to create a common language for aggregating evidence of learning across services and service points.

The website provides an online toolkit for assessing participants' and visitors' feedback in terms of the changes that their experiences have brought about.


Participation works!

This handbook contains 21 proven techniques from around the world for involving people in various types of community activity, including planning and evaluation. It shows how to choose between different approaches, how to use them properly and where to go for more information. Although published in 1998, it still provides a helpful overview of tried and tested methods for community participation.

Specific information source: the booklet is available as a Word document downloadable from the nef website.

People and Participation

This is an online resource for anyone looking to enhance the quality of participation in their projects.


Plugging the Leaks and LM3

nef (the new economics foundation) has developed evaluation tools that provide simple ways to understand and measure local economic impact. Plugging the Leaks provides a participative framework for mapping how a local economy works and how it could be made to work better. LM3 is a tool that allows project managers to measure the way local money flows, in order to be able to demonstrate if there has been an increase in a project's local economic impact.


LM3 is also available as a web-based tool, LM3 Online, making the data collection process relatively quick and simple. LM3 Online is free for charities and nonprofit organisations and can be accessed by visiting

Prove It!

Prove It! was initially developed by nef in partnership with Groundwork UK and Barclays Sitesavers as an approach to measure the effects of neighbourhood renewal on local people. Subsequent developments of the approach include a lighter version that upholds the principles of measuring what matters and involving stakeholders at the heart of the process whilst keeping measurement manageable and possible for small organisations.

Specific information sources: See the original handbook on the nef website, and a general overview of Prove It! and the subsequent developments.

Proving & Improving – A quality and impact toolkit for social enterprise

This site was constructed as part of a project to support social enterprises in planning, managing and evaluating their work. As well as providing details on specific quality and impact measurement tools such as Social Accounting, PQASSO, EMAS or Eco Mapping, the site provides general guidance for measurement and evaluation for any outcomes-focussed initiative.


Specific information sources: Measuring Impact web page and the Tools Chart web page.

JNCC Common Standards Monitoring for Designated Sites

The publication of 'common standards' for monitoring nature conservation was a requirement of the 1990 Environmental Protection Act. The standards were developed by the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and provide a reliable method with which to assess the conservation status of nature sites over time.

Specific information source: Statement on Common Standards Monitoring (CSM) webpage

Research Centre, City College Norwich

The research centre has teamed up with a group of voluntary organisations in Norfolk to develop the SOUL Project. SOUL stands for Soft Outcomes Universal Learning. The project grew out of a need identified by the Norfolk voluntary and community sector to evidence the progression of their clients in relation to informal learning. This is learning which does not lead to a recognised qualification and takes place in a wide variety of settings. One of the partnership's objectives was the development of a system to monitor and measure progression in 'soft' outcomes. The tool is in the process of development, but to find out more visit the website.


Specific information source: Soul Project web page.

Social Audit Network

The mission of the Social Audit Network (SAN) is 'to promote and support social accounting as the preferred means whereby organisations operating in the community, social economy and public sectors report on their social, environmental and economic performance and impact'.

SAN distributes information regularly to a growing email network worldwide, provides training courses in social accounting and audit, and manages a register of SAN approved social auditors. SAN has recently published its updated Social Accounting and Audit Manual and CD.


Theory of Change

Theory of change refers to the backward link from an outcome to the original actions and activities that were designed to bring it about. For an evaluation of outcomes to be meaningful, it must be framed in a way that demonstrates this link. Details on how to incorporate theory of change thinking into an evaluation have been provided on the web by the Aspen Institute Roundtable on Community Change.


Triangle Consulting

This consultancy specialises in developing outcomes measurement, and in particular the Outcomes Star, a tool for tracking distance travelled for the much harder to measure outcomes relating to an individual’s personal growth and development. Specialist versions of the Outcomes Star tool have been or are being developed for use with homeless people, and for projects addressing drug and alcohol addiction, domestic violence, parenting and mental health issues.


UK Evaluation Society

The UK Evaluation Society exists to promote and improve the theory, practice, understanding and utilisation of evaluation and its contribution to public knowledge, and to promote cross-sector and cross-disciplinary dialogue and debate. This website provides information about the activities of the UKES and news about other evaluation activities, jobs, contracts, events, resources in the UK and internationally.


Wildlife Trusts – Guidance on Evaluating and Monitoring our People and Wildlife Work

This evaluation guide book was produced by the Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire Wildlife Trust with funding support from HLF. It was written to provide a system for monitoring the backgrounds of people with whom the Wildlife Trusts work and a method for evaluating 'personal and social benefits'.

Website: to contact the Trust see

"I thought the workshop was excellent and I learnt a good deal from it… the last exercise was really interesting and the way the flow diagrams worked made us really analyse what we’ve been doing and what more could be done." Participant, Devon Workshop

"We also need to work on changing public perception. This will only happen if people know what we do, because it is usually ignorance that causes the sniggers." Participant, Devon Workshop

"How great it was that you chose to work with Rotters for one of your round 2 stakeholder workshops. The organisation of the workshop was very well thought out, using the Storytelling – common themes." Rotters, Liverpool

"Breaking down all that Rotters is about into the Storyboard Template was extremely useful and a real eye opener in terms of how we can work more effectively within the local community." Rotters, Liverpool

"I really enjoyed Friday’s workshop… the methods used for measuring and discussion were excellent." Exeter Workshop Participant