Scottish charities face many of the same challenges as their peers across the UK, but operate in a different context, and do not always have the opportunity to access and learn aboutgood practice from the rest of the UK.
Evaluation Support Scotland (ESS) represents Inspiring Impact in Scotland, sharing learning about impact measurement and reporting from Scotland to enhance the programme. ESS also ensures that Inspiring Impact products are accessible and appropriate for Scottish organisations, and applies the lessons from Inspiring Impact’s work to a specific Scottish context – for example, though the Scottish good practice case studies.
As in Scotland, charities, funders and social enterprises in Northern Ireland operate in a different context, and can find it more difficult to access the resources and good practice available across the rest of the UK.
Building Change Trust works to build capacity and promote the voluntary and community sector in Northern Ireland. The trust’s vision is of a strong, vibrant, independent and relevant community and voluntary sector in Northern Ireland—a key aspect of which is of a sector that ‘develops and delivers effective services and advocates and drives development for positive change based on sound evidence.’
The Building Change Trust, as the Northern Ireland partner on the UK board, has committed £500,000 matched by a further £188,000 from the Department for Social Development, to deliver an initial two year programme of work, which will support voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations and their funders to better understand and embrace impact practice.
Community Evaluation NI (CENI) has been commissioned as the Trust’s strategic partner to support the development and delivery of the Programme, led by Inspiring Impact NI Programme Leader, Aongus O’Keeffe.
The Inspiring Impact NI Programme was launched on 19 March 2014 to an audience of over 60 delegates from the VCSE sectors, as well as government, funders, academics and impact practitioners. The three main delivery pillars of the Inspiring Impact NI Programme were presented:
- Support to the VCSE sector to use a range of products developed by Inspiring Impact UK to address the sector’s impact needs, including the Code of Good Impact Practice, Measuring Up!, and the Resource Finder. Inspiring Impact NI intends to identify a range of ‘impact leaders’ who will act as champions and enablers of impact practice for the sector. It will then commission and support a range of demonstration projects where VCSE organisations will embrace impact practice in their work.
- Engagement with funders to support them to have a clearer understanding of what impact practice is, how it can work for them and how they can support their funded projects to implement better impact practice. Inspiring Impact NI will work with a range of independent and statutory funders with a view to commissioning a number of demonstration projects.
- Establishing an Inspiring Impact Exchange to ensure that the implementation of the programme will be understood and supported by key stakeholders across all sectors. Inspiring Impact NI will host and facilitate a range of seminars, workshops and study visits with a view to learning and sharing best practice at home and abroad.