6F: Monitoring and evaluation

Sport, perhaps now more than ever, must demonstrate its contribution to society

Section 6 progress

This means clearly linking sport or physical activity to a range of social, economic, environmental and health outcomes, measuring what matters, providing the evidence and using this make the case for investment.

Monitoring and evaluation is useful because it:

  • Gives robust evidence to financial backers and supporters that the project is meeting its aims and objectives
  • Allows any board member or management committee to monitor and performance manage the project
  • Can provide learning points and evidence for similar projects elsewhere in the country to strengthen their business cases
  • Provides stories and data for marketing and publicising your achievements.

Methods of monitoring and evaluation

There are various tools and systems that can help you. We provide a comprehensive introduction to monitoring and evaluation with templates to download.

Culture and Sport Outcomes Framework

An alternative approach is to use a framework that has been specially designed for the culture and sport sector, such as the Culture and Sport Outcomes Framework.

The Culture and Sport Outcomes Framework has been produced by the Local Government Association and partners to help anyone working in the culture and sport sector who needs to demonstrate the contribution of culture and sport to local outcomes.

This includes local authorities and other individuals and organisations in the public, private and community and voluntary sectors.

Download the document here.

Getting started

It’s important to get started with gathering data and evidence right at the beginning. This gives you a baseline against which to measure your progress and show the difference you are making. If possible, try to get data from before you took over running the facility. You may already have gathered this when writing your business case.

A simple way to create a baseline is to pick a few key objectives the organisation has and start to measure them. This does not have to be complicated and should not take a significant amount of time.

Outputs from activities will vary from organisation-to-organisation, but may include the number of sessions delivered and participants involved.

Future funding and development plans may be dependent on knowing how the sports facility is working, who is using it, who is not using it and what people think about their time there. At a basic level, this will mean keeping records of who attends – their gender, age, disability, ethnic group, etc – and what they attend for.

One method that could be used is designing some standard surveys for people to complete. These can be used in conjunction with registration forms and given out when a person first comes into contact with you.

Although these self-reporting measurements may be crude, they are simple to collect and quantifiable. More in-depth and qualitative data can be gathered through user satisfaction surveys, case studies, stakeholder feedback and independent evaluations.

Many community sports organisation will have intangible impacts that are difficult to quantify, such as improving people’s confidence or making them feel healthier, stronger, fitter or happier. Depending on the size of the project and the type of stakeholder you are working with, you may need to undertake a robust evaluation of your work.

Community: Is there a clear baseline of data against which to measure the impact of the transfer?
Is there a method in place for monitoring and evaluating impact that is appropriate and proportionate for the needs of all stakeholders?
Local authority: Has historic data about the facility been provided to the community organisation to help with setting a baseline and tracking progress?
Local authority: is it clear what outcomes the LA is looking for, how these are to be measured and reported on and what help the LA can offer to help achieve this post transfer?