enquiries@rodlaird.co.uk »
Freephone 0800 612 0910
Freefax 0800 612 0920
Now taking bookings
Bookmark and Share

If things get better for your community will YOU get the credit? (11 Nov 14)

4 ways to answer one of the trickiest problems you will ever have to solve

You are probably doing your best to help your communities to have a greater say in the activities of service providers and in community issues.

Hopefully your efforts are showing results and things are getting better for residents and service users. If so, this is an important accomplishment, and it answers the question “Are things we care about improving?”

There is a second question, however, and it is equally important. “Can we take some of the credit for this improvement?” In other words, is this improvement because of our good efforts, or is there some other reason (or reasons)?

While at some level we don’t really care because we’re always happy when things do improve, no matter what the reason is. At another level we need to know whether our efforts have been effective. Otherwise we don’t know whether we should continue what we’re doing, make subtle adjustments, or change things radically.

In research terms, you need to know the contribution of your efforts to the increased community involvement. The word “contribution” is more appropriate than the word “cause”, because in the real world in which you operate, there are many factors operating at the same time.

Rather than trying to nail down definitive, scientific proof, in your situation it’s more appropriate to seek “reasonable confidence”, “persuasive evidence”, or “plausible association” that your efforts have increased community participation.

But how can you amass this persuasive evidence? Here are four, simple steps to conducting a practical and useful “contribution analysis”:

First, gather any numerical (quantitative) data you can to bolster the case that your efforts have made a contribution. Even if gathering numbers isn’t your strong suit, there are several important questions you can answer fairly easily. For example:

Log in


Register now to benefit from hundreds of free hints, tips, articles and interviews

Your email address:

Contact us»

Latest Twitter updates

Courses that might interest you:

How to measure social return on investment

Related articles:

3 reports on supported housing and SROI

5 ways in which SROI can help you involve the community AND solve a tricky problem

Everything you need to set up and start a SROI project 

If things get better for your community will YOU get the credit?

Measuring the impact of lots of small projects at the same time: one of your trickiest problems solved

Selling SROI

Social return on investment jargon made simple

SROI and an analysis of the benefits of your community development work

Want to know how well you are really doing? Try SROI

Want to start using SROI in your work? First have a look at this list of what it is and isn’t

What concerns your colleagues about Measuring Social Return on Investment?

What's concerning your colleagues about the SROI of support services for older people