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Outcomes map: Politics, influence and participation

Politics and influence describes activities associated with the governance of a region or country, and how that affects our lives. In this document, we break down the outcomes and indicators which can be used by social investors, charities, funders and social enterprises to measure the success of an intervention in politics and intervention.

Politics and influence describes activities associated with the governance of a region or country, and how that affects our lives. It relates to our rights as citizens, our access to resources and justice, our sense of freedom and choice, and our ability to participate in society. This definition of politics and influence cuts across all areas of social welfare.

In this overview, we document approaches to measuring and understanding politics and influence based on five related themes. These are:

  1. People’s access to the correct entitlements and rights;
  2. Their participation in society;
  3. Their ability to control decisions about their own lives;
  4. Their ability to influence decisions about their community and society; and
  5. Changes in attitudes and behaviour.

Politics and influence covers a wide spectrum of activities and outcomes and is hard to pin down in a single, neat definition. In particular, defining outcomes can be difficult without a specific reference point or issue. Within our definition we focus on techniques of measurement that can be applied in different areas, whilst recognising the limitations of some of these approaches.

Rights are subject to change as society develops. In the UK, it is often the role of charities and social enterprises to ensure these rights are upheld.

Activities in politics and influence range from campaigning for changes in law or public attitudes, to working with individuals or groups to help them access their entitlements to services or fair treatment. These activities can be in almost any area of politics or society, including disability rights, access to benefits or tax credits, climate change and education welfare.

ABOUT THE OUTCOMES MAPS

This is one of 13 outcomes maps produced by NPC in partnership with the SROI NetworkInvesting for Good andBig Society Capital. Each map examines a particular issue area or domain, and aims to document the relevant outcomes and indicators that are currently being measured by charities, government, academics and practitioners working in this field.

Click here to see all the titles in the series.

 

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