England & Wales

Engaging Communities – Impact & Evaluation: A Developmental Approach


This seminar is a follow-on  from the recently held community resilience seminar. It will be of interest for officers and elected members involved in community engagement facing problems of evidencing the good work they do in their own organisations, together with those they work in partnership and also to local communities to assess the impact and evaluation of community engagement.

So how can we evidence the vital and important work of engagement that is central to community development and local democracy? This is the subject of this workshop.

Those attending this workshop will gain:

  • an overview of the conventional methods of assessment
  • how to evidence the multiplier effect of community engagement
  • how to evidence the positive spin off effects of development work
  • how to evidence the importance of social capital
  • some understanding of community and personal resilience and what that means
  • some case studies of good practice
  • the importance of taking risks and
  • the role of social networking and the new media



09.30 Coffee and Registration

10.00 introductions Day (Francis Sealey GlobalNet21)

10.10 Engagement & Impact – The Dilemma

10.30 Open Discussion

10.45 Creating a Developmental Approach. This will be an overview and case study presented by Lucie StephensHead of Co-production at the New Economic Foundation (nef) and Helen Sharp a commissioner from Lambeth

11.30 Open Discussion

12.00 Lunch

12.45 Vicki Fitzgerald will lead the afternoon session. Vicki has developed a method of impact assessment important for those who work with Commissioners and are involved with community engagement. She will go through this and then take us through an interactive session so that we can develop our own way forward to positively evidence the work that we do.

  • This will be practical and focussed and give you some time think about:
  • How important is measuring your work to you?
  • What does value really mean?
  • The importance of sharing

Value is an individual thing – it means different things to different people? It’s quite personal?  Yet we all talk about it professionally, without exploring if we mean the same thing

This is about unpicking those terms and putting them together. It is about how to put existing things into good shape and useful systems. Then everyone wins!

3.40 Feedback & Discussion

4.00 closure

  • Francis Sealey, GlobalNet21
  • Lucie StephensHead of Co-production (nef)

  • Helen Sharp a commissioner from Lambeth

  • Vicki Fitzgerald formerly Chief Executive of Gateway Family Services and now a Consultant on impact assessment. Vicki has had considerable experience of working with Commissioners and knowledge about how organizations should measure outcomes.

Who should attend?
This workshop will be important for both elected members and officers who work at community level and want to show the positive consequences and outcomes of their work in order that it can continue and develop. It will also be valuable to those who work in partnership with local authorities and communities and wish to explore how social media can enhance joined up delivery at community level. It will be particularly useful for those who are looking at new ways to engage communities and to do so in a framework of evidence based work.