As an organisation we spend a lot of time telling others how to develop a Theory of Change (ToC) or build a logic model or measurement framework to help them understand where they are now, where they are trying to get to and how they think they will get there.
So, we thought it only right that in our new guise of a social enterprise, we do the same. Turns out practicing what you preach takes some time and energy!
But firstly, let’s talk terminology. Working in the impact measurement space we hear the terms Theory of Change, Logic Model, Results Framework, Measurement Framework etc used interchangeably. Both a Theory of Change and a Logic Model work to identify inputs, activities, enablers, intermediate outcomes and impacts. In other words, putting names to and acknowledging all of the steps it will take to deliver the results you want. In both, there is a drive to identify not only what you are doing but what you are trying to achieve (outcomes and impact). One of the primary differences between the two is that a Logic Model describes what you expect to happen but does not address why it will happen. The purpose of a Theory of Change is that it works to identify how and why your activities and interventions will create the outcomes it will. A Logic Model on the other hand will state what outcomes you expect to occur but not necessarily, why you expect that to happen.
Results and Measurement Frameworks on the other hand are a way of structuring metrics and those all-important key performance indicators (KPIs) around the strategy, goals, and outcomes you are hoping to achieve. They are usually the next step after creating a ToC and Logic Model as they delve deeper into how we know what success looks like.
If you find the terminology confusing, keep an eye out for our MEL Mondays jargon buster series coming soon!
We think being transparent with our clients and partners is important and so after releasing our User Survey Results at the end of last year, the next step is to publish our version of a framework that we would use to articulate what we aim to achieve and the KPIs we are setting ourselves. This means we hold ourselves to account, have a clear plan as to how we measure our own impact and we are not afraid to fail as long as we are learning from it and actively trying to improve. Having a clear logic model that we have co-created as a team also means we are unified under a common purpose and we are all pulling in the same direction, regardless of the specific roles we all play.