Capturing impact – now and in future
As a high impact organisation working through intensive programmes, understanding and capturing the long-term effectiveness of what we do is critical – but challenging. We are interested in the benefits of our expeditions 20, 30 and 40 years on. Very few charities were collecting this kind of evidence of longitudinal impact even 20 years ago - and British Exploring is still a modestly sized organisation. But we have significant ambitions to grow and create greater impact, having established the benefit our work for young people from diverse communities and starting points, so we are focusing on our ability to demonstrate the societal benefits of our work.
There is already substantial academic research and programme assessment to underpin our approach – some of the most significant of which is cited here. But to further support our ambitions for growth, we are developing a charity-wide approach to assessing our impact - an outcomes framework which allows us to drive our own performance, and which will make sense to a number of important external partners, including schools. This outcomes framework will allow partner organisations to make good judgements about who will benefit most from engaging in our work – and will allow us to advocate more effectively for the impact of what we do.
We are also starting a piece of research to look at the impact of what we have done working with our Members – those who went on expedition with us 20, 30 and 40 years ago – to see what impact their experiences with us have had on their adult lives.
This summer we are trialling Supported Self assessment using the Outcomes Star for Success in Life: Designed specifically to measure the impact of youth interventions on young people the Outcomes Star is a widely recognised tool which promotes growth by giving young people a language with which to articulate and pursue their goals and measures the impact of a programme against those goals. Participants will be invited to complete an assessment using the Outcomes Star model at crucial stages during their programmes. The Outcomes Star for Success in Life articulates progress in 6 key areas: aspiration, contribution, confidence, communication, learning, understanding people and support. In the meantime, what follows should give a clear sense of the value of our approach, and of the wider positive impact of what we do beyond the experience of the individual explorer.
In the meantime, what follows should give a clear sense of the value of our approach, and of the wider positive impact of what we do beyond the experience of the individual explorer.