Inspiring Impact - The National Children's Bureau NI
The National Children’s Bureau NI (NCB NI) is one of 13 voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations that have received a Building Change Award through the Inspiring Impact Northern Ireland Programme.
We spoke to them to find out why they decided to get involved with the Programme and what they hope to achieve with the award.
Can you tell us what the main focus of your organisation is?
The National Children’s Bureau NI (NCB NI) works to enhance the outcomes of children in Northern Ireland, through support to children and young people and to those who work with or for them.
Our work programme includes practice development, direct participation work with children and young people, research and evaluation projects, as well as dissemination activity through publications, resources and events all aimed at improving outcomes for children and young people.
Why did the Inspiring Impact NI Programme interest you?
The Inspiring Impact NI Programme interested NCB NI as we are committed to promoting the importance of measuring the impact of work in improving outcomes for children and young people amongst the voluntary and community sectors.
Inspiring Impact gave us the opportunity to become impact champions among our network of voluntary and community sector organisations working with children, young people and families, enabling us to support our sector to understand and apply impact practice in their work.
Can you give a brief overview of what you hope to do with the Building Change Trust award and the approach you plan to use?
NCB NI will be delivering a series of seminars to introduce the Inspiring Impact programme to voluntary and community sector organisations working with children, young people and families.
This will include becoming familiar with the Code of Good Impact Practice, demonstrating the Measuring Up tool and exploring the resources contained within the Inspiring Impact Hub.
We will follow the seminars with one-to-one support to approximately 10 organisations with the intention of embedding the culture of impact practice within the organisations and, in the process, helping them to better demonstrate the difference their work is having on the lives of children, young people and families.
This will involve supporting them to complete the self assessment and to develop their impact practice plan.
Further on in the process, we will hold a workshop to enable all of the supported organisations to come together to share the experiences and learning from being involved in the process as well as sharing effective practice.
What organisations will you be supporting in your sector? How will they benefit?
NCB NI will be promoting the Inspiring Impact programme within the wider children, young people and families sector and will be providing bespoke support to approximately 10 organisations working with children, young people and families.
The organisations will benefit on a practical level from the step-by-step support that they will receive from NCB NI in accessing the Inspiring Impact resources and developing and implementing their impact practice plan.
The plan itself will help the organisations identify what they need to do to improve their impact measurement, providing focus to their impact measurement activities and supporting their long term development and sustainability.
Our workshops will also give the opportunity for peer-to-peer discussion and learning within the children, young people and families sector.
Do you think this will benefit your own organisation? In what way(s)?
NCB NI will benefit from the Inspiring Impact programme by increasing our profile as a champion of impact practice within the voluntary and community sector.
We will also benefit by going through the Measuring Up process ourselves, asking ourselves challenging questions about what we are doing, how well we are doing it and whether anyone is better off as a result of our work.
What do you envisage will be the main challenges facing you? How do you plan to overcome these?
The main challenges facing us will be getting the organisations that we work with to buy-in to the Inspiring Impact programme and to see the value in being able to demonstrate and articulate the impact that their organisation is having on children, young people and families.
We plan to overcome this challenge by demystifying the process in our workshops and providing a personalised approach through our bespoke support with supported organisations, including site visits.
We will also maintain interest in the programme through social media.
Finally, our planned workshop later on in the process will allow the groups to reflect on their key achievements and to recognise the value of planning for impact practice.
What do you hope the project will achieve? What would success look like for you?
We hope that the project will achieve demonstrable improvement in knowledge, within the children, young people and families sector, of the importance of impact practice and that it is not just about measuring, monitoring and evaluation.
It is about having a planned and systematic approach to impact practice so that the internal infrastructure within an organisation is strengthened and that practitioners as well as managers develop much more awareness of why they are doing the work they do and the difference it makes.
We hope that the organisations we work with will be aware, and make full use of, the Inspiring Impact resources (including the Code of Good Impact Practice, the Measuring Up tool, and the Impact Hub resources).
We hope that the organisations we work with will have a fully developed impact practice plan that they will go on to implement.
We hope that the organisations we work with will be able to demonstrate the impact (whether positive or negative) they have made as a result of delivering a programme/service and that they use this information to improve programme/service delivery.