Gain clarity on your goals, so you can decide what data to collect and determine whether your activities are creating the desired impact.

The first step in the cycle is Plan. This will support you to be clear about what you are trying to achieve, for whom, and why. Only then will you be able to assess whether your planned sequence of activities can be expected to create the desired results. This kind of clarity is also the first step towards deciding what data to collect, so you can use the results to understand your contribution to change on the ground.

In this section, we provide advice and practical worksheets on the following aspects of planning your impact practice:

Developing your theory of change:

Theory of change is an approach that describes the change you want to make, and the steps involved in making that change happen. The following sections take you through the main stages of developing a theory of change.

Planning your data collection:

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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.