We try to understand what outcome(s) an effect relates to and how important the outcome is to the people (or the planet) experiencing it.

Why does this dimension matter?

An effect experienced by people and planet can be related to a certain outcome, or multiple outcomes, that make up a full and happy life or the sustainability of our planet. We judge whether the outcome is positive or negative and how important it is to us. We might base this judgement on our own preferences, our experience, or on expert opinion or public consensus.
EXAMPLE: Immunity to a disease is related to good health. We judge whether good health is positive and important to us. We may be guided by medical experts, or global consensus like the Sustainable Development Goals.
We distinguish between an ‘effect’ and and an ‘outcome’ because several effects can relate to an important outcome (for example, the Sustainable Development Goal of good health and well-being) but vary a lot in how much they contribute to the outcome.
Our intentions might lead us to frame the effects we seek to generate in terms of a challenge we want to address, like climate change or homelessness. When we frame effects in relation to overcoming a challenge, we can still translate it into what outcomes people and the planet experience across all the dimensions. In case studies you can read more about various challenges translated into impact across the five dimensions.

What information do we need?

To understand what outcome an effect relates to, we collect information on the type of outcome(s) people think the effect relates to and whether they are positive or negative. Since different people value certain outcomes more or less, this analysis is always considered from the perspective of those experiencing the effect, ideally based on data collected directly from them. The information we need about (what) outcomes an effect relates to and how important they are is inextricably linked to (who) experiences the effect, and (how much) of the effect they need. We therefore always collect information about outcomes, alongside information about who experiences it and how much of the effect they experience.

In this section, we bring the dimensions to life through examples of how of a number of enterprises work to deliver employment outcomes for young people with different needs in different geographies. The examples are drawn from specific organisations but illustrate useful approaches for any enterprise or investor - big, small, for-profit or non-profit - managing impact across the five dimensions.

Meet Resurgo, an enterprise in the UK, which works with over 750 young people aged 16-24 in London annually. Their 6-week programme seeks to give young people who are looking for employment the communication skills, emotional intelligence, ambition, practical tools and confidence they need to find and sustain work, while they earn an academic qualification. In conjunction, Resurgo works with employers to place participants, who have shown particularly strong aptitude, attitude and motivation, into suitable job vacancies. They coach both the young person and their managers to deal with performance issues, enhance motivation and improve staff retention.

To understand what outcomes are experienced, and how much of the effect is delivered, Resurgo developed a set of 10 work readiness indicators that include punctuality, presentation, and attitude. These indicators were developed through a review of existing tools (including Casey Life Skills, EFF Standards and the Ready for Work framework). They also developed a scale to assess performance against each indicator through a review of Likert scales and a live testing period.

Scores are agreed between the programme managers and the individual young people, and data is collected on these indicators everyday, using a tablet to ensure accuracy and save time. Aggregated findings are openly discussed with the whole group of participants.

Participant feedback is sought at the end of each session via a survey designed for the programme. The young people are asked about their preferences and what they found most helpful in improving their work readiness. With simple questions including, ‘Was there anything you didn’t like about the syllabus? If so, why did you dislike it?’ Coaches and participants also critically assess the existing curriculum to ensure that all 10 of the work readiness indicators are sufficiently addressed.

To understand who is experiencing what outcomes, Resurgo has identified 10 indicators of disadvantage which have been shown to correlate with whether a young person is likely to be underserved in relation to employability and employment outcomes. These indicators include whether the young person has a criminal record, has experience of being in care, or is homeless or living in supported housing. Resurgo aims for at least 80% of each group of people to have at least 1 of these attributes of disadvantage. However, Resurgo retrospectively analyse these indicators, so as not to alienate the young people or foster the stigma associated with youth employment programmes. Currently an average of 90% of participants have at least one indicator of disadvantage and more than 60% have three or more.

How does this help us to manage our impact?

Information about what outcome(s) an effect relates to - and whether it is important, either positively or negatively, to the people or planet experiencing it - contributes to our understanding of which effects are material and require managing. This analysis may also indicate that different outcomes are being experienced by different groups of people (or the planet).

For example, to ensure important positive outcomes are being delivered to those who need them, Resurgo analyse the data collected to highlight specific support needs for each young person, who are then offered additional support in these areas. At an aggregate level, linking this data to longer-term outcomes like progression to full- or part-time employment, allows the team to learn which work readiness indicators are the biggest drivers of positive outcomes.

Analysing the indicators of deprivation of the current group of participants every two months gives the enterprise ongoing confidence that it is working with underserved young people, as well as allowing the precise needs of each group of people to feed into programmatic decision making. For example, previous data showed that supported housing was the primary indicator of disadvantage in 50% of centres. This led to a managerial decision to train all coaching teams on housing issues, so that staff could better understand the experiences and needs of participants.

To improve (how much) of the effect is delivered, the team analyse performance and survey data to learn which work readiness indicators are underrepresented in the course, compared to others.

For example, ‘managing emotions’ was found to have far less representation in the curriculum compared to professional communication; this led to sessions and activities on emotional resilience and motivation being introduced to address this gap. This change led to a 10% increase in the number of participants who had successfully transitioned to employment within 3 months of completing the programme (i.e. an increase in the rate of delivery of deep outcomes for many).

Resurgo also moved the programme time from 9am-midday to 2pm-5pm, based on feedback. The attendance and retention of the subsequent groups of participants increased as a result of this change.

Resources

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