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How to assess the true impact community involvement: A seven step guide (05 May 16)

These priceless tips from a professional evaluator guide you through the maze


Have you been asked to design and conduct an impact assessment (IA) of community involvement?

Here are seven practical steps that can help you complete an IA that is useful for improving services and for reporting to a range of audiences.

Step 1: Learn the differences between inputs, activities, outputs, and outcomes

These terms may be jargon to you, but they are easy to learn and essential to designing and assessing your efforts in  community involvement. Figure 1 below shows you some common definitions.

Step 2: Develop a simple logic model of your community efforts

“Logic model” is more jargon, but it is becoming enormously common around the world, and you simply must know what it means. A logic model is a visual display, on one page, showing very clearly what resources your program has (inputs), what you do with those inputs (activities), how much you accomplish (outputs), and most importantly, what changes you achieve as a result of your activities (outcomes).

A good logic model also shows how the different outcomes relate to each other -- which are achieved first, which next, and so on all the way to the ultimate outcome

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