Impacttool

Anyone who is familiar with Erasmus+ will also be familiar with the term “impact”. This term also gives rise to many questions, however. What exactly does it mean for your project? How can you ensure that a project has the largest impact possible? We would like to help you achieve this result.

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! IMPACT (Desired impact)

The larger and broader social or other changes which also take place as a result of other players and factors:

  • You have analysed this change and designed the project in such a way that it will contribute to this change.
  • However, you cannot measure this outcome. The project will only have a small influence in this respect.
  • Examples in KA1 include improving the connection between young people and the labour market.
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+ OUTCOME (Expected impact)

The smaller or greater changes which you wish to achieve when you have carried out the activities. Changes which “stick”.

  • The effects of the project, the output, lead to this change.
  • These changes are long-term and continue to exist ​​after the project comes to an end.
  • They become visible immediately or up to 6 months after the project.
  • The expected impact is anticipated to contribute to the desired impact.
  • Examples in KA1 include changes in teaching quality, behaviour, motivation, skills, and so on.
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= OUTPUT

The products which derive directly from the activities.

  • These products often include actual results which are stated in the scope of the work or work plan, such as the number of mobilities, events held, products developed, messages communicated (supported by attendance lists, reports, current products, and so on). We do not regard these actual results as changes.
  • All the output together must lead to the expected impact.
  • Examples in KA1 include staff mobility focused on the new teaching techniques for inclusive education and established collaboration with the art academy in Madrid.
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> ACTIVITIES

Which activities within the project will be carried out during the project period?

  • You design activities which lead to the output and consequently the results which you would like to see.
  • In other words, determining the selection criteria, type of partners and supervision is BASED on the expected results.
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... INPUT

All the resources which are required for the project to function.

You need financing, staff time and expertise to implement the activities.

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Choose the segment for which you are using the tool.

MOBILITY

STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIPS

When we talk about mobility within Erasmus+, we mean gaining experience abroad. For example, this process might involve enhancing your knowledge and skills or getting to know new cultures. Such mobility applies to students, staff members, youth and youth workers.

Collaborating, sharing knowledge, innovating: these aims are all possible within the strategic partnerships. You can develop new insights together or exchange best practices. Collaboration between schools or other European organisations is possible. For the education and youth sector.

It is important for Erasmus+ projects to have the greatest possible effect and to be as successful as possible. To this end, the National Agency Erasmus+ focuses strongly on what we call impact. This term refers to the change which is achieved partly as a result of a project, for the benefit of an individual, an organisation and society as a whole.

We have developed the Impact tool to help you with this process. This tool will help you:

  • to think about the intended change and the design of the project;
  • to check whether you have sufficient confidence in the proposed interventions;
  • to think about the times in the project at which you can monitor and/or adjust progress.

 

Do you have any questions? If so, please contact us. We will always be happy to help.

IMPACT  !  desired impact under direct influence


What fundamental change do you want to contribute to?

Change in (long term) such as

  • Active citizenship
  • Equal opportunities
  • Employability

 

You now start a discussion. Conduct this discussion with a variety of people who are involved in your project. These people might include students, directors, teachers or programme managers, for example. The discussion will lay the groundwork for later decisions on what you need to do with whom in order to achieve the greatest possible impact.


It goes without saying that you will not achieve this desired change by means of your own project alone. There are many more factors that your own project does not influence directly, such as the immediate living environment of the target group. However, it is very important for you to be quite sure that the aim of this project is to contribute to the desired change which you have described.
 

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

Reflection questions: Let go of your project idea for a while. Ask yourself critical questions.

  • As an organisation, why do you actually want a mobility project?

  • To which larger development or change for your target group would you like to contribute? Consider changes at various levels: students/pupils, teachers, the organisation and beyond the organisation.

  • Who are the target group exactly?

  • Do the target group agree? Is the demand actually coming from the target group?

APPLICATION FORM

The information which you compile here can be interesting for the following sections of the application form.

  • What is the desired impact of the project at local, regional, national, European and/or international level?

  • Why do you want to carry out this project?

  • What are its objectives?

  • How does it link to the objectives of the E+ Programme and this specific Key Action?

  • What are the issues and needs that you are seeking to address through this project?

REFERRALS

During this phase, you will mainly immerse yourself in the context. You can use the following tools.

EXAMPLE

Example school X
“We wish to prepare children for a labour market that is increasingly oriented internationally by giving pupils a wide range of employable skills and an international outlook.”

ASSIGNMENT

The project has been completed for a couple of years. You can look back on the mobility project with pride and satisfaction. It certainly contributed to the positive change which you are now seeing.

Write down its legacy (max. 20 words) in the project design form. If you cannot fit it into 20 words, think carefully about what you really want to achieve with this project.
Start with: Thanks in part to our project…


Describe this legacy in terms of CHANGE and to WHOM the change applies.
 

OUTCOME  +  expected impact under direct influence


What is your project's contribution to that change?

Change in for example

  • Competence
  • Behaviour
  • Self-confidence
  • Cooperation stakeholders


Look at the “dream” above. In order to achieve it, you need things which you can attain within your project.

Reflection questions

  • Which changes are required in order to achieve this larger “dream”?

  • To which changed situation is your project intended to lead? What are the effects of your project?

  • Which change/effect among your target group, within your organisation or at other organisations do you wish to achieve? Consider a change in behaviour or a changed situation in the environment of the target group. Do not state “The staff members will know more about teaching techniques”, but “The staff members will teach better”.

  • When will your project be a success? Formulate this aspect so it is as SMART as possible.

  • During this phase, it is helpful to have an “external” party dig deeper and think along with you. What will be the actual result of this project? How does this project contribute to your dream?

  • In the event that the answers are still too vague, dig deeper: Which change do you need to this end?

  • If you are very specific, also ask: Why? When you have the answer to that question, ask again: Why? Dig deeper in order to get right to the heart of the matter, until you reach the level at which you can assume that you will have made a significant contribution to your dream at the end of your project.

APPLICATION FORM

The information which you compile here can be interesting for the following sections of the application form.

  • Why do you want to carry out this project?

  • What are its objectives?

  • How does it link to the objectives of the E+ Programme and this specific Key Action?

  • What are the issues and needs that you are seeking to address through this project?

  • How did you choose your project partners?

  • What experience and competences will they bring to the project?

EXAMPLE

Example school X, Rotterdam
“Thanks in part to this project, the language and teaching skills of the teachers will be lifted to a higher level and the teachers will be able to teach more effectively, allowing the pupils to achieve better results which tie in with the demands of an internationally oriented labour market.”

If you want to chart the impact of the project, it is important to describe the changes at various levels; in the case of the sample project at School X, at the school level, teacher level and pupil level. These goals will naturally be made more specific and measurable (see the table below).

Outcomes described in terms of changes in knowlegde, skills, behaviour of school practice, for example:

For staff For pupils/students For the organisation
As a result of their immersion in the English language, the teachers will improve their language skills, which will allow them to teach with greater self-confidence and in greater depth. Their teaching will also improve because of their enhanced didactic skills. The teachers will have more didactic tools at their disposal, which will allow them to provide their pupils with a rich learning environment. The enhanced lessons will deepen the pupils’ immersion in the teaching materials. This situation will ensure improved final results in a more challenging learning environment. The school will expand its international outlook mainly as a result of the new contacts with the British schools; the international network will grow. Our vision of education will be enhanced and we can share our respective ways of preparing the pupils for European citizenship. This process will create a new dimension in the range of education, which will allow the school to profile itself towards primary schools, parents and the inspectorate.

ASSIGNMENT

Now complete this table for your project.
 

OUTPUT  =  can be controlled


What results are needed?

Concrete results such as

  • Trained teachers / youth workers
  • Trained pupils / students / youth
  • E-tools / tool kits
  • Publications
  • Online platforms

 

Look at the above “dream” (desired impact) and the outcomes (expected impact) which you subsequently described. In order to achieve them, you will need actual results.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  • Which concrete results will you achieve?

  • Why did you select these results?

  • How do you know that this choice will lead to the desired outcomes and impact?

Check: Do the answers still correspond to the answers that you gave for Steps 1 and 2? Do the answers to the questions tie in with the impact and outcomes? Why?

APPLICATION FORM

What information you compile here can be of value to the following questions in the application form.
How many participants will you have? What will you deliver in specific terms?

EXAMPLE

Example school X
“Within this project, twenty teachers will take an English language course and visit schools. The concrete result will be twenty trained teachers with new teaching materials and ideas to enhance the English lessons.”

Outcomes described in terms of changed knowledge, skills, behaviour or practice:

For staff For pupils/students For the organisation
As a result of their immersion in the English language, the teachers will improve their language skills, which will allow them to teach with greater self-confidence and in greater depth. Their teaching will also improve because of their enhanced didactic skills. The teachers will have more didactic tools at their disposal, which will allow them to provide their pupils with a rich learning environment. The enhanced lessons will deepen the pupils’ immersion in the teaching materials. This situation will ensure improved final results in a more challenging learning environment. The school will expand its international outlook mainly as a result of the new contacts with the British schools; the international network will grow. Our vision of education will be enhanced and we can share our respective ways of preparing the pupils for European citizenship. This process will create a new dimension in the range of education, which will allow the school to profile itself towards primary schools, parents and the inspectorate.
In order to achieve this outcome, we need the following concrete results:
Twenty trained teachers, new teaching materials and lesson ideas, stored on an online platform at the school.

ASSIGNMENT

Now complete these tables yourself.
 

ACTIVITIES  >  can be controlled


Which actions do you have to take?

Activities such as

  • Workshops
  • Training sessions
  • Discussion groups
  • Reflection activities

 

In Step 2, you specified several desired changes for your target group, your own organisation or possibly beyond your own organisation. How do you think that you will achieve these changes by means of your project?

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  • Which activities will you use to this end?

  • What will this situation mean when you are designing your project?

  • Do you need any special activities with regard to your supervision/mentoring?

  • Do you need to develop specific selection criteria in order to reach your intended target group in a more focused way?

  • Which criteria have you developed in order to attract the right partners (e.g. experience)?

  • Are you including an interface with HR policy?

Check: Do the answers still correspond to the answers that you gave for Steps 1, 2 and 3? Do the activities tie in with the answers to the questions under impact, outcomes and output? Can this fact be substantiated, on the basis of either experience or research?

APPLICATION FORM

What information you have compiled so far can be of value to the following sections of the application form?:

  • Please outline chronologically the main activities you plan to organise.

  • Please describe for each activity the background and needs of the participants and how these participants will be selected.

  • Please explain the context and objectives of the activities you are planning and in which way that they meet the objectives of the project.

  • Which learning outcomes or competences are to be acquired/improved by participants in each activity?

EXAMPLE

Example school X
At Example school X, the main activities support the school’s intended achievements as a result of the project. The progress is measurable and is used in the quality cycle. Tip: The teachers will complete a pre-course questionnaire beforehand. They will complete an end-of-course questionnaire after the course (a final evaluation which covers the aims achieved, structure, accommodation, and so on). The pupils will also take a test beforehand and afterwards in order to measure their progress (see the table below).

Outcomes in terms of changes in knowledge, skills, behaviour, practice, and so on:

For staff For pupils/students For the organisation
As a result of their immersion in the English language, the teachers will improve their language skills, which will allow them to teach with greater self-confidence and in greater depth. Their teaching will also improve because of their enhanced didactic skills. The teachers will have more didactic tools at their disposal, which will allow them to provide their pupils with a rich learning environment. The enhanced lessons will deepen the pupils’ immersion in the teaching materials. This situation will ensure improved final results in a more challenging learning environment. It will also improve their international outlook. The school will expand its international outlook mainly as a result of the new contacts with the British schools; the international network will grow. This process will create a new dimension in the range of education, which will allow the school to profile itself towards primary schools, parents and the inspectorate.
In order to achieve this outcome, we need the following concrete results:
Twenty trained teachers, new teaching materials and lesson ideas, stored on an online platform at the school    
To this end, we will need to carry out the following activities:
The teachers will attend an immersion course in English language & didactics which is tailored to the aims of the project. The course organisers will design the main components based on the learning needs of the teachers. Below is a brief summary of the main activities:
  • language development, with a focus on contemporary English, grammar, vocabulary development, stylistic awareness, pronunciation, fluency in speaking and reading/listening;
  • methodology/classroom practice, with a focus on aspects such as developing materials and strategies.

Participants will present lessons and receive feedback:

  • School visits for observation of lessons and familiarisation with the British school system;
  • Presentations;
  • Multimedia learning centre, with computer programs and materials which will allow teachers to develop their language skills independently;
  • Book display and sale, with book stand for education-related books, magazines and materials.

The school will enrol ten teachers in the course, who have been selected on the basis of the selection criteria specified below; teachers who do not satisfy one or more of the selection criteria will not be eligible to participate in this project:

  • Possession of a Cambridge Certificate (FCE, CAE and/or CPE);
  • Advanced level of CLIL didactics after participation in subject meetings of Nuffic, U-CLIL and Masterclass English;
  • Application of an international and European perspective to the current lessons of the potential participants.

 

ASSIGNMENT

Complete these tables for your own project.
 

INPUT  …  can be controlled


What are your resources?

Resources such as

  • Time
  • Finances
  • Staff

 

Look at the activities above. Input is required in order to initiate these activities. Such input refers to money, time, materials, and so on.

  • Which resources will you use in order to achieve your activities, output and impact?
  • How do you know that this process will ultimately lead to the desired outcomes and impact?
  • Is it realistic to expect that you will achieve the desired impact with this input?

 


Check: Do the answers still correspond to the answers that you gave for Steps 1, 2, 3 and 4? Do the answers to the questions tie in with activities, output, outcomes and impact? Why?

EXAMPLE

Example school X
“The coordinator of the project will be given one free day per week to steer this project in the right direction. In addition, € 35,000 of subsidy funds will be invested in this project.”

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Outcomes in terms of changes in knowledge, skills, behaviour, practice, and so on:

For staff For pupils/students For the organisation
     
In order to achieve this outcome, we need the following concrete results (output):                                                                                    
To this end, we will need to carry out the following activities:  
For this purpose, we will use the following resources (input):  

ASSIGNMENT

Complete the table for your own project.
DOWNLOAD THE PROJECT DESIGN FORM

CHECK IMPACTTOOL 1/2

Application form Referrals Example Assignment

You will monitor during your project whether you are carrying out all your activities properly and on time. Do your activities lead to output? This aspect is part of your project management.
(Are we doing things correctly?)

You really want to know as well whether your project is leading to the changes/effects which you described. In other words, is your output leading to outcomes?
(Are we doing things correctly?)

This process might seem tricky, as these outcomes occur after your project or outside your direct sphere of influence. Nevertheless, it is possible. The best method is to think in advance what will happen and come up with relevant outcome indicators.

Look at the outcomes.

  • Which indicators can you formulate for the anticipated changes? Make them SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound.
  • Which information (qualitative and quantitative) do you need to this end?
  • Where can you find information which will help you to see whether you are on the right track?

You will see that you can already check for signals halfway through your project which indicate that things are genuinely changing, for example.

Why would you do so?

  1. It often provides you with some great stories for the people and organisations involved in your project
  2. It offers you the chance to modify your activities in order to ensure that your project has a greater effect.

 

Application form

What information you have compiled so far can be of value to the following sections of the application form:


Monitoring/Evaluation


Project management
 

Referrals

If you want to do so on a larger scale during this phase, you can use tools such as:


Example

Outcome Outcome Indicator(s) How will you measure it? When will you measure it?
Pupils: The enhanced lessons will deepen the pupils’ immersion in the teaching materials. This situation will ensure improved final results in a more challenging learning environment. It will also improve their international outlook. At least B2-level English in writing / speaking / listening / reading.
  • Observations in the classroom
  • Testing
Weekly observation and testing as soon as the lesson cycle comes to an end.
Teachers: As a result of their immersion in the English language, the teachers will improve their language skills, which will allow them to teach with greater self-confidence and in greater depth. They will also enhance their range of teaching materials by learning from other teachers and school systems. At least C1-level English in writing / speaking / listening / reading.

 

Local disk of lesson ideas

  • Peer feedback
  • Observations in the classroom/classroom visits (assessment form)
  • Discussions in sub-meetings
  • monthly classroom visits

The results will be discussed during meetings of the sounding board group

School organisation: The school will expand its international outlook mainly as a result of the new contacts with the British schools; the international network will grow. This process will create a new dimension in the range of education, which will allow the school to profile itself towards primary schools, parents and the inspectorate. TTO visitation: Acquisition of the TTO certificate
  • Evaluation of the TTO school policy plan
  • TTO visitation
Annual evaluation of the school policy plan

Indicator(s)
The aim of outcome indicators is to measure what you actually wish to measure, which is not the number of meetings but their effect.

How will you measure it?
Analysis of reports, focus group interviews, semi-structured interview, individual evaluation (e.g. online questionnaire), observations, storytelling.

 

Assignment

Complete the table for your project.
DOWNLOAD THE PROJECT DESIGN FORM

CHECK IMPACTTOOL 2/2

Referrals Example Assignment

Increase your impact by involving the right people and organisations. Involve people both within and beyond your organisation. Increase the effects of your project by ensuring that the right people are "participating" ("advertising" your project, not "feeling threatened", "wanting to learn from you", and so on). While you will notice some of these aspects during your project, thinking about them in advance will allow you to plan properly.

Referrals

During this phase, you can use tools such as:

 

Example

Who is involved in my project and who ought to be involved in my project? Which role do they play? With which message do I wish to present them? How can I involve them from the outset?
Other teachers or directors within the school Important to create support for the project and convey the results in a convincing way. Providing insight into the added value of participation in international projects, so they are also encouraged to start using the newly acquired knowledge, skills and behaviours. Organising study meetings.
Other teachers or directors beyond the school Important to disseminate the results and share good practices Providing insight into the added value of participation in international projects, so they are also encouraged to participate and to benefit from each other’s expertise. Organising network meetings.
Parents Important to create support for the implementation of the project Profiling the school by means of internationalisation. Paying structural attention to TTO and Erasmus+ projects in the newsletter/on the website.
New pupils Important to future-proof the school Conveying the importance of speaking several languages and an international outlook for future prospects on the labour market. Updating the website with news reports before, during and after the Erasmus+ project in order to profile the school.
Employers Important to ensure alignment with the knowledge, skills and attitudes which are required in the globalising labour market Training the employees of the future in such a way that they develop the knowledge, skills and attitudes which tie in with a globalising labour market. Providing insights into the added value of international projects. Being involved in network meetings, news reports and presentations. Visiting companies with pupils/teachers.

 

Assignment

Complete above table for your project.