Sobel Case Study

Measuring the impact of advice – A whole Person Approach

The learning outcome of this workshop was to enable participants – representative of advice organisations and advice services – better understand the impact of advice, both in terms of improving the services they provide and the implementation of systems that are more effective and efficient. Participants shared experiences which gave everyone the opportunity to learn about how other organisations measure direct outcomes and impact. There was consensus amongst participants that measuring impact from a whole person approach may include looking at beneficiaries’ family life and relationships, access to work, health, wellbeing, skills/knowledge, empowerment, resilience and long term impact.

Debate was generated when participants were asked about the purpose of measuring the impact of advice – what are the measures there for? Are they for learning and improvement (ie for service improvement) or to convince and demonstrate (funders and decision/policy makers)?

In terms of demonstrating the value of advice to others (e.g. stakeholders, funders, policy makers, wider community and clients) there was agreement around the importance of designing impact measurement systems that understand what is important to clients and what meets funders’ requirements.

Discussion around how to resource impact monitoring was welcomed – the main recommendations included investing in infrastructure, supporting front-line teams and making it an integral way of how organisations deliver a service.

Evaluations from this workshop were very positive including:

  • Really good session, very inspiring
  • Energetic, well presented, inspiring, good examples from the floor – wish there were more time for the group discussion
  • Interesting ideas from the presenters and people participating in this workshop. Gave me ideas for my service.
  • Organisations awareness of impact improved
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