Project: Creative Pathways Social Impact Study
Service Area: Social Impact Measurement
Client: Impact Arts
Duration: 12 months

The Brief

Impact Arts has been working intensively to ensure better employment outcomes for young people aged 16-24 years for over a decade. Creative Pathways is Impact Arts’ flagship creative employment programme, which focuses on encouraging personal development and growth, while developing creative and work-related skills. As Impact Arts embarked on an ambitious new phase in the delivery of Creative Pathways, it invited Social Value Lab to gather ongoing and rigorous evidence, both about the effectiveness of the programme and its wider social impact.

Our Inputs

The social impact evaluation of Creative Pathways was based on a Social Return on Investment (SROI) analysis; an accepted method of measuring the wider impact of activities and of placing a monetary value on them.

Our input included:

  • Development of a Theory of Change for the programme, drawn from relevant documentation and data, which was tested and later refined.
  • Design of a tailored outcome tools that was administered pre- and post-intervention, and which helped to gauge the ‘distance travelled’ by young people.
  • Primary research that captured feedback on the experience, satisfaction and impact among young people throughout their time on the programme.
  • Facilitation of Value Game workshops with young people to help verify and value the impacts arising.
  • Development of an Impact Map for the programme.
  • Monetisation of identified outcomes and associated SROI calculation and sensitivity testing.

The Results

During the year under review, the programme supported 131 young people to achieve outcomes at a unit cost of £4,927 per trainee. The evidence demonstrated that the programme was targeted effectively, that it engaged productively with vulnerable and excluded young people, and in many cases helped to turn their life around. Based on rigorous research and best assumptions, it estimated that the programme created £5.68 in social value for every £1 invested. The evidence has enabled Impact Arts to tell the story of change for the programme in both a compelling and comprehensive way.

Some Feedback

“We have worked with Social Value Lab on a number of key projects. I have always found them to be reliable and deliver consistently high quality results. They have taken the time to understand our organisation and therefore can quickly grasp what we are trying to achieve. We enjoy working with Social Value Lab which is why we have done so many times!”.

Rachael Brown, Development Director, Impact Arts


A summary of the Creative Pathways Impact Evaluation can be downloaded here.