Rethinking social value
CRESR

Measuring outcomes and impact

CRESR has substantial expertise in the evaluation of projects and programmes, including assessments of the impact, and economic and social value of outcomes from interventions. We undertake evaluations of complex programmes: for instance, the evaluation of New Deal for Communities, the largest and most comprehensive evaluation of an area-based programme ever commissioned; and the evaluation of Futurebuilders - the first evaluation of a UK government programme to use Social Return on Investment methodology. We also work extensively with agencies in the public and voluntary and community sectors, using a range of methods to identify the impact and value of their work. We take a pragmatic approach to evaluation: not subscribing to a particular tool or approach, but working closely with clients to understand their needs, and using appropriate methodologies to produce robust assessments which can be used to inform service delivery and investment decisions. 

Our expertise includes:

  • development of bespoke evaluation frameworks including tools for self-evaluation
  • measuring and valuing outputs and outcomes
  • establishing impact and additionality
  • calculating Social Return on Investment
  • cost-benefit analysis.
Search our work


Groundwork Quality Assessment and Impact Evaluation Framework

Project Director: Dr Tony Gore
Project Duration: 2011-2012

This project involves providing assistance to the Groundwork federation in its efforts to improve its impact evaluation processes and methods. The work includes the development of a quality assurance and impact evaluation framework which builds on existing processes and procedures, plus support in piloting it in selected Trusts. The framework incorporates qualitative (attitudinal and perceptual) elements that can underpin a wider ‘social return on investment’ approach, as well as quantitative valuation of net outputs as a means of assessing added value and cost effectiveness.


Measuring Out Impact

Project Director: Professor Peter Wells
Project Duration: 2012-2013

This project developed an evaluation framework for the Online Centres Foundation which it could implement through its funded projects. The project developed a range of outcome measures.


The Economic Impact of Housing Organisation on the North

Project Director: Ian Wilson
Project Duration: 2012

The study assessed the economic impact of housing organisations on the North in relation to output expenditure and jobs supported and Gross Value Added (GVA) provided.

It encompassed both direct and indirect effects from the 'day-to-day' activities of providers,  including construction, housing management and community investment.


Measuring and Demonstrating Impact and Value

Project Director: Professor Peter Wells
Project Duration: 2012

This project supports the development of CRESR’s work in outcome and impact measurement. It is working with NHS Rotherham (on the Green Deal), the Charity Bank, Sheffield City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, and Involve Yorkshire and the Humber. 


Charity Bank in the North Evaluation

Project Director: Professor Peter Wells
Project Duration: 2008-2012

Charity Bank in the North was an innovative project intended to increase the array of funding used by the voluntary and community sector. In particular it sought to increase the use of loan funding at a time when grant funding was reducing. The value of the programme was around £10 million and it was delivered by Charity Bank with Key Fund Yorkshire, Fit for Funding and the University of Huddersfield.


Get in touch

For further information please contact Professor Peter Wells at p.wells@shu.ac.uk or call 0114 225 6262, or Sarah Pearson at s.pearson@shu.ac.uk or call 0114 225 4902.

Key clients

Age UK
Bolton CVS
Church Urban Fund
CLAHRC Yorkshire and Humberside
Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care for South Yorkshire (CLAHRC SY)
European Women’s Audiovisual Network
Foundations Independent Living Trust (FILT)
GMCVO
Heritage Lottery Fund
Holocaust Memorial Day Trust
Lambeth Council
NHS England
Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action
Northern Rock Foundation
Oldham Council
Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council
Trussell Trust
Yorkshire Adoption Agency
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