The cycle of good impact practice: Define your issue and target audience

Who is your programme or service for, and why do they need it?

Clarity about who you are trying to help, and why, is critical for both measuring and achieving success. Start by writing down the problem or issue you are trying to tackle in a few sentences.

To add more detail to your definition, work through the following questions or download our worksheet for further guidance.

1. Who is affected? Who is particularly vulnerable? What is the scale of the problem?
2. What are the consequences of the problem?
3. What are the causes of the problem?
4. What are the barriers to change?
5. Who is in your target group (i.e. the people you will work with directly)? Who are the people you can help or influence the most? What are the needs and characteristics (e.g. age, gender, qualifications, attitudes and behaviours) of this group?

You can read more about understanding issues and audiences in our guide to theory of change in 10 steps (steps 1 and 2).



Download the worksheet

Define your issue and target audience

This worksheet contains questions and guidance to help you define the issue you are trying to address and your target audience, so you can plan your impact measurement.

Size: 45.20 KB



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.