Making the most of data & evidence in a crisis

Rachel Tait, Programme Manager for Inspiring Impact, sets out how the Inspiring Impact team and other sector colleagues are responding to COVID-19.

Published:3rd April 2020
The COVID-19 crisis has resulted in urgent need, vanishing resources and huge uncertainty for the voluntary and community sectors.

It’s also resulted in rapid creativity, coordination and adaptation. Staff and volunteers are figuring out how to do what they can, with what they have, where they are.

In the midst of all of this, there’s an opportunity to make the most of data and evidence.

We’re not talking about developing beautiful theory of change diagrams or comprehensive measurement frameworks. We’re talking about having good enough data. Data about who needs what, who services are and aren’t reaching, what people think of the response, and what if any difference it’s making. And then using bits of that info to do a slightly better job the next day.

Many charities, social enterprises and community groups are already tapping into useful data and prioritising what information they’re paying attention to.

But we know others are feeling overwhelmed. It’s hard to know what data might be most useful at the moment, how to get their hands on it and how to get feedback remotely. Not to mention how to keep all of this in proportion when there’s no spare time in the day.

That’s why the teams from NPC, Social Value UK, Evaluation Support Scotland, Wales Council for Voluntary Action, Community Development and Health Network, Charity Evaluation Working Group, and Coalition for Efficiency are joining forces to support you.

We will:

  • Listen to you to understand what impact & evaluation queries you have;
  • Provide free, practical guidance to help you get started;
  • Offer free peer learning opportunities to share and learn from other people in the sector.

If you’ve got questions, comments, ideas or links to great existing resources, get in touch via email or Twitter.

Please visit our COVID-19 webpage and sign up to our newsletter to be the first to hear about new resources and opportunities.

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