About Prove It!
Prove It! was developed by The New Economics Foundation in partnership with Groundwork UK and Barclays PLC. It provides a method for measuring the effect of community regeneration projects on the quality of life of local people. This tool is best suited to:
- Help understand the effects of small or medium-sized projects, (as opposed to larger-scale regeneration programmes).
- Look at the effects of projects that involve local people as workers, volunteers or beneficiaries.
- Organisations concerned with local community involvement.
- Those interested in evaluating a project’s effect on social exclusion and other quality of life issues.
Prove it! seeks to make data collection part of the process of regeneration, with local people involved in a project’s evaluation as well as its delivery.
Prove it! Toolkit is made up of files containing instructions for running participative workshops, designing simple questionnaires and inputting data that allow a thorough and robust exploration of a project’s impact. The aim is to make it easier to take those first steps towards undertaking effective impact measurement.
The Prove it! Toolkit incorporates three main tools:
- A Storyboard exercise for understanding how a project’s intended activities will lead to change.
- A Survey Questionnaire to be used at the start and end of the project.
- A Poster Evaluation exercise in order to reflect at the end of a project on its impacts and the lessons that have been learnt.
In addition there are notes, guidance and templates provided to assist in planning the evaluation process and presenting findings.
The Storyboard and Impact Mapping exercise will help:
- Explore how a project’s intended activities will lead to change.
- Describe what that change will look like.
- Identify the best ways of knowing (indicators) that it is happening.
Use the exercise as close to the start of the project as possible. To prove whether a project is making a difference, you first need a hypothesis, or underlying ‘theory of change’ on how the project’s activities (the inputs) produce results (outputs) that help to bring about change (outcomes). By the end of the exercise you should be able to identify the best ways of knowing that change has taken place, and therefore what sort of questions to ask of participants and beneficiaries.
Download the instructions for the Storyboard and Impact Mapping exercise.
You can use the Survey questionnaire with project participants and community members over the lifetime and beyond the completion of a community-based project. Ideally the survey should be administered before and after the project activities are completed. An Excel spreadsheet provides space for responses and to present and compare data collected from two rounds of surveying.
To make the Survey simple to administer we have chosen a core list of the most powerful indicators of a project’s impact on social capital and quality of life. For each indicator there are 1 to 3 simple questions for project participants and non project-participating members of the wider community.
The Survey questionnaire contains ready-made demographic questions to help report on the specific groups of people involved in or affected by a project.
Project managers can design additional questions for a survey using the additional question templates.
The Project Reflection Workshop is an opportunity to bring together people who have been involved in, or affected by a community project. Participants gather round an interactive poster that uses a timeline to help them:
- Share their version of the project’s story.
- Describe their personal high points and low points.
- Identify evidence of the project’s impact.
- Explore what can be learnt from their experiences of being involved.
The interactive poster provides the structure for a meeting. A facilitator uses the instructions provided to help participants reflect on different aspects of their project.
The workshop explores the unintended and unexpected consequences of a project, and to identify what can be learnt from the experience. A recording sheet captures the main points of the discussion for a report.