ESIPP project coordinator, the University of Northampton (UN), has been recognised by the Erasmus+ UK National Agency for its exemplary use of the Impact+ Exercise and how this use has affected the way the ESIPP consortium approaches measuring the project’s impact.
The report “Impact + Exercise. User Research”, in which ESIPP has been featured, set out the findings of research into the use of the Impact+ tool in helping individuals and organisations understand how to assess the impact of their Erasmus+ projects. The document reports on a user group consisting of 70 people from 8 EU countries, active within 25 different projects.
The report determined that the Impact+ tool was useful for the ESIPP project and allowed the team to look at outputs, outcomes, indicators and defining impact. The Impact+ tool for the ESIPP projects created additional benefits:
‘I think it has been a really useful tool to enable us to get people to see that impact happens in a number of ways, and that impact, sustainability and dissemination are all intrinsically linked to each other and if nobody knows you’re doing something you’re not going to be having a lot of impact’.
Working with the European Parliament and NGOs, they observed that there were differing ideas of what impact meant, and some organisations did not see the benefit in trying to understand the meaning of impact. The materials produced from the Impact+ tool were what allowed the staff to help partners gain a solid understanding of outputs, outcomes, indicators and how this works within a project.
The accessibility of the tool provided an easier way to facilitate shaping a project using the workshop guide, and helped the team to consistently refer to EU standards, which was an important factor in shaping the project.
The Impact+ tool facilitated the delivery of the project, enabling partners to see impact beyond the end of the project and to identify intellectual outputs and benefits – although it was felt that this was thanks in part to on the organisation’s understanding the elements of the exercise.
The Impact+ tool
In autumn 2016 the UK Erasmus+ National Agency launched the Impact+ Exercise to help beneficiaries explore and define the impact of their projects. Its creation was based on the notion that having a clear approach to impact assessment could help ensure that beneficiaries have the evidence needed to show that their solutions work.