The cycle of good impact practice: Articulate a plan for change

What activities will you deliver, and what will service users experience, to bring about change?

A clear vision and definition of success should be followed by a plan of how to get there. Working out, and setting down, the activities needed to bring about your intended change will not only identify any missing links in your programme or service it will inform how you evaluate your work.

To articulate how you expect to bring about change, answer the questions below or download our worksheet for further guidance.

What type of programme or service do you provide? What are the key features of your activities? How often do you offer your programme or service? Where do you deliver it? Is it run by volunteers, staff, teachers, or other organisations? Do they need particular qualifications and skills?

How do you find people to engage with your programme or service? Are they referred to you by other organisations? Do you conduct any outreach activities?

How would you like people to experience your programme or service? What should delivery feel like in practice? For example, would you describe the need for people to feel safe, listened to, supported, trusted, and able to be themselves?

What is unique, distinctive or special about your programme or service? What makes your activities particularly successful? What are your strengths and assets? Are you particularly flexible? Do you offer tailored support? Is your reach particularly broad?

What quality standards will you work towards and measure? For example, if you deliver educational activities, are there national or international standards or criteria you should comply with? If you work on wellbeing, are there existing measures you could use to identify change and compare with other interventions?

You can read more about articulating a plan for change in our Guide to theory of change in 10 steps.

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Plan

The cycle of good impact practice defines what impact practice is and articulates a clear path to success. It follows a four-step cycle. This page is part of Plan, the first step in the cycle.

Other resources from this step in the cycle

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This webpage has been adapted from the Inspiring Impact programme, which ran from 2011 until early 2022 and supported voluntary organisations to improve their impact practice. More information about the Inspiring Impact programme.

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