We all want to change the world – what’s your solution?

In autumn 2016 the UK Erasmus+ National Agency launched the Impact+ Exercise to help beneficiaries explore and define the impact of projects. We know that having a clear approach to impact assessment can help ensure that you’ve got the evidence to show your solution works. We even wrote a blog post about it. 

We now wanted to know if our solution – the Impact+ Exercise – was really working and, if so, how? We'd originally tested it in a workshop with real Erasmus+ beneficiaries and a year later we decided to contact them to see how they had got on. 

We commissioned Access Europe to undertake some qualitative research (875 KB) with those workshop participants. The results are in. Overall, they found that users found the exercise was “simple and straightforward as well as clear, easy to use and very effective for structuring the way applicants and project partners should consider impact”. 

Since I got invited to do the workshop in Manchester at the end of our project, I was writing the end of the final report. It helped me a lot in that stage to understand the impact. With the workshop I have got to understand that the impact has wider issues and the number of different target groups.

– Impact+ Exercise workshop participant

Group of people during an Impact+ Exercise Workshop

Research highlights 

  1. The majority of respondents felt that the workshop had been helpful or very helpful in helping them consider the impact of their project;
  2. A third of respondents had already used the materials in their current Erasmus+ project either at the start or during implementation;
  3. Almost all respondents would recommend the materials to colleagues or partners and many already had done so; and
  4. Some respondents reported observable positive changes in their personal and organisational understanding and approach to impact assessment. 

I used the Impact+ methodology for writing the project to clarify for myself and the group I’m working with, the staff. We used this tool to clarify what was our position towards public local policies and partners as well to potential partners that we didn’t consider at the beginning; and also what we would like to develop in terms of internal competencies, what we are lacking now and what we would like to develop internally.

– Impact+ Exercise workshop participant

What’s coming next?

Impact+ Exercise documentsWe now have plans to update the exercise and make it more accessible to you, to be announced via our Erasmus+ newsletter. For example:

  • We’re revising the materials to make the definitions clearer and to add more detailed advice.
  • We’re exploring ways that we can introduce the exercise to a wider audience through webinars, training courses and at our existing events.
  • We think that the exercise can be just as helpful during a project as at the start. We plan to provide some real-life examples to help highlight the flexibility of the materials to users.
  • On top of all that, we’re also translating more of the materials into more languages. The workshop guide and the Impact+ Tool are now available in Slovenian and the video guide will soon be sub-titled in English, French and German.
In the meantime, the Impact+ Exercise has everything you need to get started on assessing your project impact. What’s stopping you? 

 

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