Blue Sky Development is a social enterprise that aims to break the cycle of re-offending and challenge perceptions about ex-offenders. Diverse funder and commissioner requirements have shaped Blue Sky’s impact measurement approach, making it project oriented and in need of greater consistency for evidencing its overall social impact. In addition, while a number of outputs and ‘hard’ outcomes were already being captured, Blue Sky needed to bolster its approach to capturing ‘soft’ outcomes, which are more subjective and relate to ex-offenders’ skills, personal situations and emotional states.
Investing for Good supported Blue Sky in the definition of its Theory of Change during a workshop with members of management and staff. We then carried out focus groups and interviews with beneficiaries to define outcomes based on their own experience. From there we established a list of indicators and related tools to capture the essential outcomes that evidence change in ex-offenders’ lives. The approach was then integrated in a bespoke data collection tool, gathering performance, outputs and outcomes tracking as well as visualisation of progress of outcomes indicators for each beneficiary. Blue Sky now has a thorough approach to impact and a dedicated tracking tool, which allows the organisation to capture, store, analyse and extract precise information for performance management or communication to internal or external stakeholders.