An ‘Impact Story’ is where we bring together your ‘articulation of change’ from Step 1 and information from the evidence reviews in Step 3, to tell the story of your large scale programme.
There is no predefined format, this will depend on your programme and the audience you are communicating with, but there are some things to bear in mind.
- It should include a rich range of evidence, which relate back to the activities, outputs and goals of your ‘articulation of change’
- There should be ‘no narrative free data’ – this is not a dashboard or performance report. Use charts and infographics where data illustrates or supports or explains the story.
- There is no one absolute measure of value – focus on creating a ‘good enough’ account of value at a point in time.
- Don’t dismiss the elements of value that are harder to capture.
- Keep it simple and transparent.
- Focus on learning, not just accountability.
- Reflect the most significant changes as reported by people on the ground.
Impact in the real world
- NHS England colleagues in the South West used the Impact Framework and wrote an Impact Story to demonstrate the impact of complex rehabilitation case management. This was used to secure funding for posts.
- “Contribution analysis: An approach to exploring cause and effect” (Mayne, 2008)
- “Most Significant Change” (Davies and Dart 2005)
- “Making data count” (Guide, Statistical Process Control Tool, NHS Improvement 2018)
- “Storytelling with data” (Book, blog, videos, Nussbaumer Knaflic 2019)
- “Useful Theories of Change” (Articles and worked examples, John Mayne 2019)
- “Creative & Credible” (Articles, user guides and free tools, focussed around the evaluation of health and art based projects, created by Willis Newson and The University of the West of England, with funding from ESRC)