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A practical way to assess the impact of resident involvement (18 Nov 07)

Why you should start by determining what you are trying to achieve

As you know Housing Associations are now required to produce an annual impact assessment stating what has been achieved over the previous year.

This means they have to provide clear evidence that resident involvement has led to improved services for service users. Although there is guidance to support housing associations in this task, many are clearly struggling.

One problem with many Involvement Assessments is that they don’t focus enough on what involving residents is supposed to achieve. To use the jargon, they don’t look enough at the outcomes.

Perhaps it’s because people are so busy doing things day to day that they forget to consider why they are doing them. They’re hard at it setting up ways to involve residents - forums, panels, consultation events, satisfaction surveys, mystery shopping exercises. But how can they determine how worthwhile these activities really are?

As if that weren’t enough, the language used often confuses.

So let’s examine four of the most important words used: inputs, outputs, outcomes and impact.

To help you through this jungle of jargon here are some examples

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