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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 KA2 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 KA2 include changes in teaching quality, behaviour, motivation, skills, and so on.
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= OUTPUT

The products which derive directly from the activities:

  • People use different terms for outputs. They are sometimes called deliverables, or labled milestones of the project.
  • Outputs 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 KA2 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

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 international 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.

 

Before you get started with the Impact Tool: please note that in project planning different terms are often used for similar things. Even within the Erasmus+ Programme Guide, the choice of words changes. In order for you to make sense of the changes, we have developed a table comparing different terms:

IMPACT TOOL

PROGRAMME GUIDE 

ALTERNATIVE TERMS

impact desired impact goal, overall objective, general objective 
outcome expected impact specific objective, project purpose, strategic objective 
output output, deliverable, milestone results, intermediate results 
activities activities activities
input input recources

 

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

IMPACT  !  desired impact | under indirect influence


What fundamental change do you want to contribute to?

Contribution to wider change in society

  • Active citizenship
  • Increasingly equal opportunities
  • Improved employability
  • Improved economic development
  • Improved research

 

This is where you start discussing your ideas. Think about what the future holds for your target group, what should they achieve in five years and what did your project contribute to that change. Invite a wide variety of people linked to your project to improve the quality and relevance of your work, this group may include youth and social workers, members of the governance board and teachers Obviously your target group, youth pupils, students,  is the most important group to talk to. This discussion will lay the groundwork for later decisions regarding what you do with whom in order to achieve the greatest possible impact.


Impact is a wider socio-economic change, 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. These are factors, whose influence on the target group, you might not fully understand. It is therefore important to include the target group in project design at an early stage. Allow them to participate, co-design and decide over what the project should look like. This way your project matches their needs and you will ensure that it contributes to the desired change which you have described.

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

Reflection questions: let go of your project idea for a white. Ask yourself critical questions:

  • Who exactly are the beneficiairies, or is the target group of your project?

  • Which other stakeholders are involved, how do they see the target group?

  • To what wider change will the use of the project’s outcomes lead? Describe this development in terms of observable changes? (What is it that you can actually see?)

  • What is the role of your organisation in achieving change for your target group, does this fall within the mandate of your organisation?

  • How does an Erasmus+ project help you achieve that change?

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 of an application: “Anti-Semitism is a growing phenomenon in Europe, as well as discrimination of Roma, Muslims, LGBT and other minorities. This project aims to reduce discrimination among young Europeans by preventing and combating racism and intolerance.”

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). 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?

Delivered by your project 

  • Improved self-confidence 
  • Utilisation of new skills, knowledge and behaviour 
  • Actively cooperating stakeholders in education/youth work

 

Look at the “dream” above. In order to contribute to desired impact, you need to attain (behavioural) changes with the stakeholders of your project. 

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  • Which changes are required in order to achieve this larger ‘impact dream’? 

  • What change/effect among your target group, within your organisation or at other organisations do you have to achieve in order to contribute to impact? 

  • How will the target group utilise the tangible items, skills, attitudinal changes resulting from the project, in order to achieve the desired changes? 

  • When will your project be a success? Formulate this as SMART as possible. 

  • Have you considered the effectiveness and equity of your intervention?

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:
“Through this project, educators and young people will be more aware of manifestations of anti-Semitism and other forms of discrimination in their environment. Educators are able to effectively address discrimination in their lessons, in an innovative and attractive manner. Consequently, young people’s ability to think critically and to reflect on their own position and choices will be strengthened. Pupils from minority groups gain confidence.”

Example:
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 in the above example, 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 knowledge, skills, behaviour or school practice, for example:

 
For staff For pupils/students For the oganisation

Educators will be more aware of manifestations of anti-Semitism and discrimination in their environment. Educators are better able to address discrimination in all its forms in their lessons, in an innovative and attractive manner. Educators improve their skills to discuss sensitive issues in the classroom and respond to concrete situations in their societies.

Through better education on this theme, pupils will be better able to think critically and to reflect on their own position and choices. Pupils from minority groups gain confidence.

Participating schools are better able to offer inclusive education, by embedding the online toolbox in curricula.

ASSIGNMENT

Now complete the table for your project.
 

OUTPUT  =  can be controlled


What results are needed?

Tangible results needed to reach outcome 

  • 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. The project will achieve outcomes when the target group shows an independent and structural change in the way they work, their attitude or their behavior. The project supports this change by creating tangible results that can be put to use by the target group. These tangible results we call output, or sometimes they are called deliverable. 

Creating well designed outputs requires a lot of coordination and communication amongst the project partners. The project iExpress Myself (Koninkijke Visio) is a good example of this process. 

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  • Which concrete results will you achieve?

  • Why did you choose these results?

  • How do you know that the target group will use these outputs? 

  • Have you included all the tangible results that are needed to achieve outcomes? 

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: “An online learning tool, consisting of materials and methods on diversity and discrimination. Six modules will be available, on themes such as diversity, discrimination, historical context, taking action and media literacy. Furthermore, 80 educators in six countries will be trained in using the toolbox in the classroom and integrating it in curricula.”

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

 
For staff For pupils/students For the organisation

Educators will be more aware of manifestations of anti-Semitism and discrimination in their environment. Educators are better able to address discrimination in all its forms in their lessons, in an innovative and attractive manner. Educators improve their skills to discuss sensitive issues in the classroom and respond to concrete situations in their societies.

Through better education on this theme, pupils will be better able to think critically and to reflect on their own position and choices. Pupils from minority groups gain confidence.

Participating schools are better able to offer inclusive education, by embedding the online toolbox in curricula.

In order to achieve this outcome, we need the following concrete results (output):

  • “An online learning tool, consisting of materials and methods on diversity and discrimination.
  • Six modules will be available, on themes such as diversity, discrimination, historical context, taking action and media literacy.
  • Furthermore, 80 educators in six countries will be trained in using the toolbox in the classroom and integrating it in curricula.”

ASSIGNMENT

Now fill in the items for your project yourself. 
 

ACTIVITIES  >  can be controlled


Which actions do you have to implement? 

Activities such as:

  • Workshops
  • Training sessions
  • Desicussion 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 develop these tangible results within your project?

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

  • Which activities will you use to this end?

  • Do you need any special activities regarding supervision/mentoring? 

  • Does your organisation have all the right skills and expertise to implement these activities succesfully, or do you need to attract project partners? 

  • Is capacity building for staff within this project embedded in your HR policy? 

  • Did you consider the efficiency of your activities? (e.g., group size, mode of instruction or interface) 

  • Are you sure that these activities will deliver the outputs? 

  • Can these activities be carried out with Erasmus+ funding? If not, are alternative funding/ resources available?

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

At Example organisation 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 pupils will complete a pre-course questionnaire beforehand. They will complete an end-of-course questionnaire after the course in order to measure their progress (see the table below).

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

 
Staff Pupils/students Organisation
Educators will be more aware of manifestations of anti-Semitism and discrimination in their environment. Educators are better able to address discrimination in all its forms in their lessons, in an innovative and attractive manner. Educators improve their skills to discuss sensitive issues in the classroom and respond to concrete situations in their societies.

Through better education on this theme, pupils will be better able to think critically and to reflect on their own position and choices. Pupils from minority groups gain confidence.

Participating schools are better able to offer inclusive education, by embedding the online toolbox in curricula.

In order to achieve this outcome, we need the following concrete results (output):
  • “An online learning tool, consisting of materials and methods on diversity and discrimination.
  • Six modules will be available, on themes such as diversity, discrimination, historical context, taking action and media literacy.
  • Furthermore, 80 educators in six countries will be trained in using the toolbox in the classroom and integrating it in curricula.”
To this end, we will need to carry out the following activities

A summary of the activities for the development of the online tool:

  • the development of six modules which include texts, filmed interviews and exercises, among other things. Each module is based on research by two or more partners. This development results in an initial draft version to be discussed in the project team, who discuss the theme, didactic approach and potential national differences. The module is then placed in a digital format and tested once again. Before the modules go “live”, they are tested by ten teachers in each country. Modules will be translated into six languages;
  • the development of the website which features the tools.

In addition, a total of 80 teachers will attend six meetings (one in each partner country) that comprise two-day training sessions in the use of the modules. The training will also cover embedding the modules in the curriculum. Feedback from the teachers on the modules will be used to refine them further still.

In order to ensure that the online tool is known and used in the education system, the following dissemination activities will be carried out:

  • There will be a multiplier event in each partner country, where the tool is presented to educators and school leaders in a workshop.
  • Each project partner will approach schools or school networks, regional and national government bodies, and other relevant stakeholders in their own country.
  • The tool will be presented at several relevant international conferences.
  • To back up these efforts, each project partner will use their own existing social media channels.

ASSIGNMENT

Complete the table for your own project.
 

INPUT  …  can be controlled


What resources are needed?

Resources such as:

  • Time
  • Finances
  • Staff

Look at the activities above. Input is required in order to initiate these activities. Such as funds, time and materials.

  • 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 can carry out the planned activities with this input?

  • Are these resources available from Erasmus+, or from elsewhere within your organisation? 

  • Are you sourcing inputs in line with Erasmus+ regulations? 

  • Have you considered the economy of your input use?

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

“For this project, each project partner will free up time for one staff member who has expertise in one or more relevant sub-themes and/or online learning. In addition, over € 350,000 of subsidy funds will be invested in this project. The partners themselves will contribute to the budget for the use of external translators and website builders.”

ASSIGNMENT

Complete the table for your own project.

  • Describe the outcomes in terms of changes in knowledge, skills, behaviour, practice and so on for staff, pupils/students and for the organisation.
  • Describe the concrete results (output) you need to achieve these outcomes.
  • Describe the activities you need to carry out.
  • Describe the resources (input) you want to use for this purpose.
     

DOWNLOAD THE PROJECT DESIGN FORM

CHECK IMPACTTOOL 1/2

Application 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 wil you measure it? When will you measure it?
Teachers: Educators can effectively address discrimination in their lessons.
  • Quality of the discussion in the classroom; a good atmosphere in the classroom
  • Attitudes of the pupils to various minority groups
  • Observations in the classroom
  • A brief survey among pupils

Weekly observations; a survey before and one month after the lesson cycle

Pupils: Through better education on this theme, pupils will be better able to think critically and to reflect on their own position and choices.
  • Willingness of the pupils to revise their own attitudes (attitude)
  • Extent to which pupils base their own opinions on facts (behaviour)
  • Knowledge of the pupils on discrimination and minorities (knowledge)
Test for the students Before and one month after the lesson cycle
School organisation: Participating schools are better able to offer inclusive education, by embedding the online toolbox in curricula. Percentage of programmes which have included modules in the citizenship education curriculum
  • Analysis of curricula for citizenship education;
  • interviews with teachers
Annually at the start of the academic year

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. SurveyMonkey), 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:

  • Knowledge Fairs 
  • Chat or Talk shows 

 

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 participating schools Important to create support for the project/theme and convey the results in a convincing way. Providing insights into the relevance of anti-Semitism/discrimination as well as encouraging the use of the newly acquired knowledge and tools. Providing insights into the added value of participation in international projects. Organising study meetings.
Other teachers or directors beyond participating schools Important to disseminate the results more broadly. Providing insights into the relevance of anti-Semitism/discrimination as well as encouraging the use of the newly acquired knowledge and tools. Providing insights into the added value of participation in international projects. Organising network meetings.

Parents

Important to increase support for the theme and the project As the school considers it important to combat anti-Semitism and discrimination, it is working at an international level to achieve this aim. Paying structural attention to citizenship and this project in the newsletter/on the website.
Youth and sports clubs Important to disseminate the results beyond the education sector. The theme is also important for these parties and tools are available to help you talk with young people about this matter. Being involved in network meetings, news reports and presentations. Raising the issue with existing contacts.
Policymakers             Important to ensure a broad dissemination of the results; can play a role in bringing the theme up for discussion and taking follow-up actions.                          Anti-Semitism and discrimination are important themes; tools are available to help you combat them. Being involved in network meetings, news reports and presentations. Raising the issue with existing contacts.                      


Assignment

Complete the table for your project.