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Understand the issue you want to address

Understanding the issues experienced by individuals or organisations you want to work with, people you want to influence, or environments you want to affect change in is the starting point for impact planning.

You could do a ‘needs assessment’, reviewing the challenges being faced so you can identify the best ways to address them. You may also consider what individual or community assets and resources are available, and where there are opportunities to involve them in developing solutions.

By looking at reports or local or national statistics, talking to existing or potential beneficiaries or other stakeholders, and drawing on your own expertise, you can find out:

  • who and where your intended beneficiaries, or people you want to influence, are
  • what they want, what challenges they are facing and what assets they might have to address these
  • what available resources, services or community assets may provide solutions to challenges
  • which organisations are working in the same field and whether partnerships are possible
  • whether there are any gaps in existing provision or activity.

The issues that you identify don’t need to be ones that your organisation can solve quickly or single handedly. They may be long-term problems where your organisation’s work will be part of a solution, rather than ones that you can solve on your own. Try to consider the causes of any problems you identify, as these may suggest ways in which your work can contribute to a solution. 

Page last edited Dec 16, 2016

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