Mental health charity Mind has a national presence and a large network of affiliated local Minds across the country. In 2010, NPC helped Mind to develop an evaluation framework to measure its impact across all its work.
Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. They provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem. They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding. A fundamental part of Mind’s work is delivered through its network of over 150 Local Minds (LMs), which run services including: supported housing, crisis helplines, drop-in centres, employment and training schemes, counselling and befriending. Each LM is an independent charity, but is affiliated to Mind and required to meet a set of quality standards.
In 2010, Mind commissioned NPC to develop an evaluation framework to help the charity better understand its impact.
NPC looked at Mind’s existing evaluations, spoke to staff, and developed a theory of change to show how the organisation improves the lives of people with mental health problems. Based on this, we created a plan showing how Mind could measure its impact, before helping the charity to implement our recommendations. We developed a series of recommendations and guidance to help Mind measure the impact of its projects as well as its impact overall. We then helped Mind implement these recommendations. Mind is now piloting this approach.
Our recommendations helped Mind to measure the impact of its central work, and its impact on LMs, but not the impact of the work carried out by individual LMs. Mind has since commissioned NPC to develop a framework to enable LMs to measure their impact. We consulted widely with the LM network and formed a working group to feed into the framework’s development, to help us understand the range of activities LMs provide and ensure the framework reflects this variety. The resulting framework is being piloted by seven LMs and will be revised based on their feedback.
It is Mind’s ambition to be able to be capture the impact of the whole network at an aggregate level, as well as the impact of its own work. And ultimately the data collected will enable both Mind and the LMs to improve their services.