Waterways & Wellbeing – Building the Evidence Base – First Outcomes Report

http://waterways%20wellbeing

(uit de samenvatting)

This is the first Outcomes Report to be published by the Canal & River Trust (the Trust). The Trust acknowledges that it cannot depend solely on storytelling but must be able to demonstrate its impact more persuasively through an evidence base, to prove and validate the difference it is making to individuals, communities and society. The Trust’s ambition is for waterways to make a difference locally, to be inclusive and relevant. There is significant potential and opportunity to achieve this ambition and for waterways to contribute to personal, community and societal wellbeing.

To demonstrate and evidence that our waterways are ‘transforming places and enriching lives’, we recognise the necessity to measure the value of the multipurpose nature of our waterways in terms of:

  • how they are being used by others as platforms for a wide range of activity;
  • the difference that our activities and interventions are making to local people’s lives; and
  • the contributions they are making to the economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing of the nation.

To be credible, it is important that we publish robust and transparent evidence-based outcome reporting, which can track trends and stand up to external scrutiny. This evidence base will help to demonstrate that the waterways are a truly cross-cutting policy theme and also demonstrate the contribution that waterways are making to personal, community and societal wellbeing in England and Wales. We are seeking to build an evidence base that supports a shift away from traditional and narrow perspectives of waterways towards a wider recognition in policy terms, that truly reflects the cross-cutting nature of waterways’ contribution to wellbeing in its widest sense.

Through robust measurement, the Trust will be able to: • prove and validate to national and devolved policy and decision makers, as well as to statutory and voluntary funders and partners, the value generated from investing in waterways and their waterside communities; and • improve effectiveness by understanding which of our activities and interventions make the greatest difference.

Our first Outcomes Report is a ‘technical’ report aimed at sharing our approach to measurement – explaining our ‘whole framework’ model and the measurement and evaluation methodologies being adopted. In collaboration with the Sustainable Places Research Institute (PLACE) at Cardiff University, we have designed an Outcomes Measurement Framework (OMF) which:

  • adopts a cross-cutting approach to outcome measurement that embraces the breadth of the potential impacts and outcomes that are being generated by the presence of the waterways themselves and the activities and interventions made by the Trust, partnerships and other organisations using our waterways as a platform; • encompasses the diverse and ‘multi-benefit’ nature of waterways, the Trust’s strategic goals and 2025 ambitions and the breadth of these potential impacts; as well as
  • reflecting the strong synergy with wider economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing. The report focuses on explaining the OMF design and methodologies being adopted and is supported by early insights learnt. We have deliberately not attempted to report on the outcomes delivered, as there is insufficient evidence at this stage to be robust and credible. It is hoped that by openly sharing our learnings and experiences, that this will encourage engagement and dialogue, galvanise support and build a strong foundation for our second Outcomes Report, to be published next year.

 

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