CENI - Measuring Change

Published7th August 2014

Established in 1995, CENI provides evaluation support services to the voluntary sector and its funders in Northern Ireland, to help them plan for and capture outcomes, and use the results to inform learning and improve effectiveness

Measuring Change was designed by CENI as a practical, robust and cost effective solution to capture the ‰Û÷hard to measure‰Ûª difference that voluntary and community activity makes to people, organisations and communities.

While it has primarily been applied with funding programmes to support a shared measurement approach, it has also been used by individual organisations to plan, measure and report on project outcomes.


Measuring Change enables funders and projects to define change by specifying the differences they want to make in advance and then gather data to estimate progress made over time. It works by developing an overarching framework of high level outcomes and then applying a standardised method, ‰Û÷Nominal Group Technique‰Ûª, to baseline and measure change against these outcomes.

1. Define Change: key programme and project stakeholders are facilitated to develop a theory of change and define common programme outcomes.

2. Capture Change: Nominal Group Technique, is employed to support funded projects to generate ‰Û÷baseline‰Ûª and ‰Û÷change‰Ûª estimates.

3. Show Change: Producing quantitative and qualitative data in a standardised format allows:

‰Û¢ individual projects to evidence progress made from their baseline and

‰Û¢ programme funders to aggregate data to assess overall impact and explore differential impacts across outcomes and projects.

Case Study

See CENI website for range of case studies including the following:







Existing Users

  • Big Lottery Fund Northern Ireland
  • Belfast City Council
  • Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD)
  • Department of Social Development
  • Irish Football Association
  • Co-operation and Working Together 'Older Peoples Support Project'
  • Advice Northern Ireland
  • Belfast Health Development Unit
  • Age NI
  • Engage with Age

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