Measuring impact is a critical step in sport and diversity programming. Here are some tips for getting it right.
- Maintain session attendance records. This will help analysis of retention rates.
- Try to record participant ethnicity on these attendance sheets.
- Record participant ethnicity against the official Census categories. This means you can then compare your data against your local census data. Connect2sport records ethnicity against the Census Level 1 Ethnicity classification.
- Acknowledge that some people do not want to reveal their ethnicity, so an opt-out option is always needed.
- Try to use data entry templates with drop down lists. This means data is recorded in the correct format and with sufficient detail.
- Try to accurately record member and participant names. This will enable identification of duplicates, previous participation and transitions to club membership.
- Base participation records on individuals not programmes. The best approach is to develop a master list of participants with programme attendance recorded against this list rather than separate lists for each programme.
- Make it easy for diverse young people to provide feedback. Not many participants respond to email, so it is often better to ask them questions face-to-face at the time of the event/programme. Trying to collect questionnaires after the fact is difficult.
- Try to make feedback forms as simple and easy to use as possible. Use simple English and provide multi-choice options where possible, avoiding too many open ended questions.
- Follow up with those that drop out from programmes. This will allow you to identify how the programme could possibly adapt to increase its recruitment and retention rates. If you are going to follow up, do this very soon after the fact. This increases your chances of getting participants back to the programme and on improving the programme to attract even more numbers.
- Don’t expect a high response rate from online surveys. Overall, the use of online surveys has not been successful with young diverse people. Many access the internet from their phone and a reluctant to use their limited data on online surveys. Overall, paper based forms distributed at the event seem to work best with diverse young people.
- Think of incentives to provide feedback. For example, during Connect2sport focus groups we provided food and movie vouchers as an incentive to participate. As a result we had maximum turn out at all focus groups.
- Expect more feedback from girls than boys. Girls appeared to be more engaged than boys in all of the focus groups and participant surveys.