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Pauline Davenport

on 18 April 2013

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Updated Action Research Plan:
Valuing Social Impact Notes San Francisco Budapest (cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr (cc) photo by Franco Folini on Flickr (cc) photo by jimmyharris on Flickr Stockholm (cc) photo by Metro Centric on Flickr Plan Participatory Process for engagement of stakeholders Community Learning Reflect Reflect SROI Report PA Research SROI Literature
Review Act Observe Reflect Plan Observe Act Plan Act Observe Significant change, moving away from providing courses to playing a strategic role in serving local communities and the Big Society Agenda (NIACE, 2011) ‘Over the longer run, colleges need to develop metrics which can measure the wider social benefits and contribution deriving from community engagement, influence and impact.’ Traditionally, easy to measure outputs, such as numbers of learners attending provision, have been used to record success Indicators that record changing social phenomena are the outcomes that should be measured as part of a cost-benefit analysis increase in self-confidence social cohesion Measuring Social Impact Qualitative evidence
eg Case Studies Social Accounting and Audit Social Return on
(SROI) Local Multiplier 3 (LM3) Charlestown and Lower Kersal New Deal for Communities Partnership Best practice framework
identifying and mapping expected outcomes and measurement indicators before programmes start
measuring baselines and on-going evaluation of quantitative and qualitative information during the life of the project
final evaluation of the economic value of the social impact using SROI to measure added value. some indicators difficult to use difficult to prove individual cause and effect beyond doubt holistic evaluation can identify unexpected outcomes Lythgoe, 2008 Ongoing research around the processes of measuring change

Lack of Measurement Indicators for soft outcomes

Recommended to base SROI calculations on outcomes from previous projects

No identification of robust outcomes from involvement in Community Learning

To discover robust outcomes identified by learners as
evidencing the Social Impact of the work of the
Community Learning and Regeneration Team at Bolton
College by exploring relationships between different
inputs and the outcomes experienced in different contexts. Purpose Objectives 1. Identify inputs individual learner’s feel Community Education has delivered in their lives and outcomes these learners identify as related to their involvement.

2. Categorize these inputs and key outcomes across different learners and situations to discover patterns and draw inferences about relationships.

3. Integrate these categories to define a theory of robust outcomes for the difference responsive Community Education makes.

4. Map these patterns and relationships showing how sub-outcomes lead to outcomes and the longer term objective of Community Education.

5. Explain ‘how’ and ‘why’ Inputs lead to specific outcomes, how they link to the values and objectives of the team and what indicators could be measured to evidence achievement. Initial study concentrates on analyzing learner narratives already produced by learners on Community Learning projects at Bolton College (secondary data).

Causality only inferred from substantively important relationships to learners.

Multiple factors operating to create the context in which it is more likely that the social impact will be experienced. Delimitations and Limitations Cycle 1 Identify initial idea

Reconnaissance - fact finding and analysis McNiff, 2012 Cycle 2 Reconnaissance - explain any failure to implement and effects

Revise general idea McNiff, 2012 ‘projections of current patterns into the near future do not invariably require understanding of the underlying causal processes’ (Hakim, 2000, P212) A research strategy to analyse the results of previous projects that balances the depth of information from case studies with a large sample size, without time and cost implications, is needed. Role of the Researcher Review results with others Learners create narratives about their involvement to evidence the work of the project Data Collection Retrospective and biased towards learners with positive experiences but shows change when outcomes are positive showing patterns rather than explaining reasons 100% Data Analysis 1 Review 2 Unitize 3 Code & Categorize 4 Themes 5 Category System 6 Report Line by line coding (Stringer, 2007) following a Grounded Theory process (Strauss & Corbin, 1998) Ethics 9 Learner narratives All involved in community engagement projects as volunteers Why they returned to learning and distance traveled since they did Very little detailed information on the outcomes they experience Possibly some rewording more information is available for each learner investigate collection methods further only one actually mentions the word volunteering Findings Majority lacking in confidence or had lost their sense of identity before involvement Ways of working partnership working looking after family Social Capital important before, during and after Family and friends encourage to join support Learning community Outcomes achievement employment work experience raised aspirations improved confidence qualifications more involved in community making friends Inputs Background and Barriers Conclusions from Cycle 1 Literature Review Narratives don’t go into enough depth on the details of outcomes Good information for a Theory of Change Option for more narrative analysis Significant increase in published research SROI seen as best framework Still in infancy Increased resources Simplifying and Standardising Improve as well as prove Particapatory techniques remove issues of power Justify decisions and articulate assumptions for a robust analysis Focus - single activity or specific stakeholder group Theory of change Gaps and issues Use Action Research to test predictive SROI analyses (Durie et al, 2008) Lack of published analyses for Community Learning Creating and testing a Predictive SROI Trial of Measurement Indicators Focus on CLA Project Participatory approaches Not comparing like with like Identify variables Correlation Investigate context (Independent Commission on Colleges in their Communities, 2011) Explore Relationships journey taken and the impact being involved had on their lives
No direct relationship with the subjects Relationships with participants and Gatekeepers Anonymity and confidentiality maintained process creates abstractions Main gatekeepers are Project Managers My expectations could shape interpretations and influence results. Good sensitivity to the data but challenge judgements to try to discover the new Learners create narratives for evaluation depression - illness - disability enrolled on other courses overcoming barriers Project teams enjoyment Social Capital Self Actualisation Social Capital Employability + + + - + + + + Initial Analysis More detail on outcomes is needed in order to identify measurement indicators Social Capital Barriers to Engagement

To further explore measurement of the Social Impact of the work of the Community Learning Team at Bolton College by trialling the use of a participatory process within Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis, in particular analysis of the Outcomes identified by stakeholders. Updated Purpose Objectives Develop and critically evaluate a participatory process for engaging with stakeholders to analyse outcomes from Community Learning:

Use participatory techniques to identify significant outcomes stakeholders experience from the volunteer programmes and analyze how well the Aims of Community Learning are met

Evaluate the participatory process used

Analyse the Social Return on Investment for the volunteer programme, identifying areas that need further measurement

Participant review of the data collected Concentrates on analyzing the Community Learning Ambassador Project at Bolton College.

Multiple factors operating to create the context in which it is more likely that the social impact will be experienced.

The project and the wider work of the Community Learning Team will need to be carefully described in order to present the findings within a broader context. Delimitations and Limitations Module: BLT5001, Exhibition, Validation & Synthesis
Pauline Davenport
Tutor: Margaret Nelson Masters in Regeneration and Sustainable Communities What does the Literature say? Community Learning Ambassador Project has Beacon Status for Widening Participation Participatory Appraisal used for Community Research Innovative ways of engaging learners Bolton College follows recommended best practice for Community Learning Evidence value for money Work of the team is far more than delivering classes Outcomes •Social and Community Cohesion •Communication Skills and Social Capital •Self-esteem, confidence and well-being •Volunteering Opportunities and Employment Learner Narrative
Research Curriculum Design Action Research
Literature Review Communicate with stakeholders Networking Evaluate Digital
Presentation Peer Review SROI
Report Progression
Data Stakeholder
Review Circle of
Confidence 12/13
Analysis Further
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