In our first blog as part of the Ideas Hub, we want to share with you some of our ideas for how we can improve transparent impact reporting. We’ll share our journey over the past six years, and some of the key things we’ve learned along the way. 

It’s been over a year since the collapse of Kids Company. This has been a BIG reminder for the industry that we need to back up the positive success stories with solid facts about impact.  

At Street League we’re on an ongoing journey to become even more transparent about our impact, and learn from it and improve our programmes at the same time. Pre-2010, we used to simply measure participation in our programmes. With support from Impetus PEF and Inspiring Scotland, we then progressed our monitoring and evaluation to measure our employment, education and training outcomes, like many other outcomes focussed organisations. 

 

Since 2016, we’ve moved a step further to better understand the starting point of our participants and evaluate the sustained impact of our work. We want to ensure we’re working with the young people who need our help the most (face complex barriers to employment) in the communities with the greatest need (IMD index) and that they sustain their new jobs for at least 6 months. 

 

 Along our journey we’ve learned some challenges with impact reporting and we have created the Three Golden rules which help to reduce these challenges. 

  Some of the things we’ve done recently which show how we’re putting these Golden Rules into action: 

  1. We have highlighted the 109 young people who dropped out of one of our programmes without an outcome. 
  2. We discounted 48 outcomes which we did actually achieve because we didn’t have the payslip or employers letter to back them up. 
  3. We’ve gone back through all our data to add in the sample sizes to percentages (tell us if you find one without a number!). 
  4. We map every single young persons journey through Street League, no generalisations! 
  5. We have introduced a four-stage internal audit process for every single one of our outcomes, which could stand to test against a rigorous external audit. The four stages verify the young person’s starting point, the support they needed and received from Street League, their input to that journey, and external verification that they have progressed into a job or education. 

 

We are delighted that several other organisations are also starting to adopt these Three Golden Rules and we’d love to hear how it’s going. 

 

If your organisation has any other principles you work to which you think could help us move our thinking on even further, we would be delighted to hear about them and see how we can work together. Get in touch via [email protected] or on social media using @Street_League and #callforclarity.