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Organisation DIAL

Developed by Sara Burns and Joy MacKeith, Triangle Consulting Richard Piper, Stephen Quashie and Georgina Anstey, NCVO

Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial Information

This tool has been written for the Value of Infrastructure Programme by: Sara Burns and Joy MacKeith, Triangle Consulting Richard Piper, Stephen Quashie and Georgina Anstey, NCVO. National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) Regents Wharf 8 All Saints Street London N1 9RL T: 020 7713 6161 www.ncvo-vol.org.uk Charity Registration: 225922 Triangle Consulting Social Enterprise Ltd Tel: 020 7272 8765 www.triangleconsulting.co.uk www.outcomesstar.org.uk For further information on the Value of Infrastructure Programme: www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/vip 020 7520 2441

Creative Commons Copyright (c) 2011 NCVO and Triangle Consulting Social Enterprise Ltd. Some rights reserved. In order to facilitate impact planning, measurement and communication within and across infrastructure organisations, the copyright holders give you permission to copy, distribute, use and display this work under the following conditions:  You must attribute the work in the manner specified above  You may not use this work for commercial purposes  You may not alter, transform or build on this work  For any reuse or distribution you must make clear to others the license terms of this work Any of the above conditions can be waived if you get permission from the copyright holders. Nothing in this license impairs or restricts the moral rights of the authors or the copyright holders. This is a Creative Commons license, a fair way between the extremes of copyright control and uncontrolled exploitation. For more information about Creative Commons visit: www.creativecommons.org.uk. Published January 2011 Design by SteerMcGillanEves Design Ltd 01225 465546

Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial Guidance for infrastructure organisations

The Organisation Dial gives a picture of the strengths and weaknesses of an organisation at a particular point in time. It is designed to both help provide structure and focus to the support you provide to a beneficiary organisation and to give impact information about how the organisation changes over time.

Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial Guidance for infrastructure organisations

The Dial consists of eight points each covering an important aspect of organisational effectiveness. The worker in your infrastructure organisation who is working directly with the beneficiary organisation (e.g. development worker) and the individual or group from the organisation they are working with discuss each area in turn and agree a score from one to ten on each of the areas. These scores are then plotted onto the Dial. Joining the points on the Dial gives an overview of strengths and weaknesses and provides a basis for discussing priorities for development. By taking scores at different points in time, it is possible to see changes (improvements or otherwise) in the beneficiary organisation. This is helpful to the beneficiary organisation itself and provides you as the infrastructure organisation with valuable information about change. Through key questions, you can find out what part your infrastructure organisation has played in these changes, if any.

Although it is designed to be used in dialogue, the Dial can also be used by the infrastructure organisation on its own (by someone who knows the beneficiary organisation well) or by people from the beneficiary organisation itself (trustees, senior staff, employees, volunteers). However, to identify meaningful changes over time, its important that the scores are decided by the same method. So if the score was first decided by the trustee board of the beneficiary organisation, subsequent scores will also need to be decided by the trustee board if the scores are to be meaningfully compared. It is vital that the scores given are based on the scales in the tool. By defining what it means to be at each point on each scale, these scales provide a more objective underpinning to the scoring than just using the numbers on their own.

Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial

The Organisation Dial is designed to help you take a snap shot of how you are doing as an organisation. The Dial comprises eight points, each corresponding to an important aspect of running an effective organisation: 1 Creating impact 2 Income 3 Strategy 4 Learning 5 Leadership and governance 6 People 7 Managing resources 8 Communications

Across these areas, there is a journey of change which explains how organisations move and improve. Of course, organisations progress at different speeds. Sometimes an organisation will be stuck at one stage on the journey for quite a long time or may even fall back. At other times positive movement can be rapid and successes can be sustained for long periods. 1-2 No awareness: Practice falls below normally recognised minimum standards. Little or nothing is being done to address it, mainly due to lack of awareness within the organisation of what constitutes good practice. At 2 there may be one or two people saying that things need to improve but little heed is paid by the rest of the organisation

7-8 Mostly good practice: Organisational practice is mostly good though in some areas it is adequate. At 8 there initiatives to achieve consistent good practice 9-10 Strong practice, ongoing improvement: The organisation is very strong in this area and they are constantly on the lookout for ways to innovate and improve. By 10 they lead the field and are sharing their good practice and innovations with others Using the scales below, identify where you are for each of the eight areas and then enter the scores onto the Dial or the online system. Once you have the completed Dial you can discuss:  What seem to be the main areas of strength and weakness?  Where do you think change is most urgently needed?  What are the next steps to achieve that change?

3-4 Some awareness: Practice mostly falls below normally recognised minimum standards but some people within the organisation are trying to address this You can then use the Action and Review and by 4 there are emerging initiatives to improve things Grid to create a development plan. 5-6 Adequate practice: Organisational practice is adequate You should aim to complete the Dial again at a later date. If you are receiving support from and essential systems are in place. At 6, action is being an infrastructure organisation then it is helpful taken to move from adequate to good practice to repeat the Dial soon after their intervention as it will help to give you and the infrastructure organisation a picture of how much it has helped.

Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial Diagram


Creating impact

Name of infrastructure organisation: Name of organisation/s supported:

Communication

Income

Retropective

Date of completion

Managing resources

Strategy

Completed by: Organisation alone Completed by: Organisation and development worker Completed by: Infrastructure organisation

People

Learning

Leadership and governance

Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial 1 Creating impact

Is your organisation achieving its purpose or cause by creating strong impact? Do you use knowledge and evidence-based practice from your field to create maximum impact?

Do you involve beneficiaries and other people in deciding on your planned impacts? Do you keep an eye on negative impacts you may create, e.g. environmental?

9 10
Strong practice, ongoing improvements
Your organisation is highly effective in its core work, creating very positive net impact. Your work is soundly based on the latest evidence of what works and frequently reviewed, with appropriate involvement of beneficiaries. You watch for negative impact. By 10 your organisation helps to develop cutting-edge practice in your field and manages social and environmental impact holistically.

No awareness
Your organisation is not effective in its area of work and may be having little positive impact on its beneficiaries. The approach you take may be outdated or discredited. There is little or no knowledge of evidence-based good practice or involvement of users and no awareness within the organisation that this is a problem. By 2 some people are talking about the need to improve the work done with or for beneficiaries.

Some awareness
Your organisation is not effective in its area of work but there may be one or two areas in which practice is adequate. Some people are concerned that your core work is not as effective as it could be. They are learning about good practice or standards, how to involve users or other ways forward. By 4 there are one or two initiatives to increase the impact of the organisation, for example, through introducing service standards or new approaches.

Adequate practice
Your organisation complies with basic minimum standards in your field of work. Some of your work draws on recognised methods but some are of questionable value and may be outdated. Plenty of your work creates good impact, but some work areas are of questionable value. By 6 there is a concerted effort to raise standards but they may encounter resistance to change from volunteers, staff, managers or trustees.

Mostly good practice


The methods you use in your core work are known to be effective but there are a few weaker areas. For example, you may not be involving service users meaningfully, or there may be particular areas of work where practice is outdated. You know these and are working on them. By 8 consistent effort is being put into improvements and some people are thinking about any negative impacts you may be creating (e.g. on environment).

Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial 1 Creating impact

Has there been an improvement in this area since the last Dial reading (or over the last year if this is the first reading)? Yes No Dont know

If our infrastructure organisation has supported you on this area, and there has been an improvement, what percentage of the improvement do you think is down to us? (please estimate, e.g. 50%)

If yes, what do you think was the main cause of the improvement?

If anyone else has supported you on this area please say who:

Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial 2 Income

Do you have the income you need to achieve your mission over the next few years? Do you plan well ahead to find the money you need?

Do you have a healthy range of sources of income? Are you strong at spotting and taking advantage of opportunities?

9 10
Strong practice, ongoing improvements
Your organisation has a strong funding base and can answer yes to all the questions at the top of the page.

No awareness
Your organisation has no money or frequent financial crises or is highly dependent on one or two short term or unreliable sources of income. You dont know how to bring in income or find funding and you dont think anything can be done about this.

Some awareness
You have one or two funding sources but it doesnt cover all your costs and things are rather hand to mouth. You are not planning for when current funding ends. Some people are aware that you need to tackle this precarious situation. Youre becoming more informed but are still a bit chaotic in your approach.

Adequate practice
You have adequate income to cover your costs but just one or two income sources and you are not confident of replacing them if and when they end. If you have grants or contracts, some of them cover core costs. Some people (trustees, staff) know how to find new income sources and grow existing ones but their expertise may not be well used.

Mostly good practice


You have adequate level of income across a range of sources with a bit of room to manoeuvre. Some are secure but others are short-term and/ or vulnerable. Core costs are mostly covered. You can answer yes to most of the questions on the left but there are still some areas of weakness.

By 2 some people are saying something can be done to improve but there is no action yet. By 4 one or two initiatives are underway to find new income and you have some sort of plan going forwards.

By 8 weaknesses are being addressed and your income By 6 you are looking at how plan is strong for 1-2 years ahead. you can improve e.g. get income Most of your people are aware from a wider range of sources. of their role in helping to secure income.

Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial 2 Income

Has there been an improvement in this area since the last Dial reading (or over the last year if this is the first reading)? Yes No Dont know

If our infrastructure organisation has supported you on this area, and there has been an improvement, what percentage of the improvement do you think is down to us? (please estimate, e.g. 50%)

If yes, what do you think was the main cause of the improvement?

If anyone else has supported you on this area please say who:

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Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial 3 Strategy

Does your organisation know where its going and what its trying to achieve? Do you involve others in deciding this? Do you understand the current issues and needs in your field of work?

Do you look out around you and look ahead for changes on the horizon? Are you flexible and able to adapt as needed? Are you clear about your particular role and strengths?

9 10
Strong practice, ongoing improvements
There is a clear, shared up to date sense of direction based on strong evidence of need and with clarity about your organisations particular role and niche. You are proactive in anticipating and meeting emerging needs and external changes and the strategy is regularly reviewed and can be adapted as situations change. By 10 you are helping other organisations to look ahead and contributing to strategic thinking across your sector.

No awareness
You only have a vague understanding of the issues or needs in your field and lack a strategy for dealing with them. You are pulled in different directions according to funding or external pressures. There is little planning and no time to look up from the day-to-day. By 2 some people are talking about the need to plan ahead but it doesnt seem to happen.

Some awareness
There are some people in your organisation seeking clarity on vision, mission and values. But many peoples views are dated. There is some agreement about your purpose but no overall strategy. People rarely look at the wider context or into the future. By 4 there are initiatives such as away days to develop strategies or plans and some discussions about the cause or need.

Adequate practice
There is a vision, mission and strategy, but its either sketched too lightly or hidden in long planning documents. It has weaknesses, such as not being based on evidence of need, or not used to inform activities. But it does provide a focus for internal discussion. By 6 there are initiatives to improve things, for example, to build a strategy based on better information and to involve the whole organisation in the process.

Mostly good practice


There is a clear, agreed strategy which is based on some evidence of need and analysis of the environment and trends. There are some problems, such as teams still going their own way, no clarity on your organisations niche, or too much planning and too little flexibility. By 8 most people understand the strategy and the strategic environment, and use this in their decision-making.

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Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial 3 Strategy

Has there been an improvement in this area since the last Dial reading (or over the last year if this is the first reading)? Yes No Dont know

If our infrastructure organisation has supported you on this area, and there has been an improvement, what percentage of the improvement do you think is down to us? (please estimate, e.g. 50%)

If yes, what do you think was the main cause of the improvement?

If anyone else has supported you on this area please say who:

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Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial 4 Learning

Does your organisation keep learning and improving? Does your organisation encourage curiosity, creativity and innovation?

Does it try new things? Do you monitor and evaluate, including assessing outputs and impact and learning from what you find?

9 10
Strong practice, ongoing improvements
You are a creative, learning organisation that puts learning into practice. People expect to learn and improve as part of their job and frequently make small improvements to their areas of work and propose bigger ideas to managers/board. By 10 you are recognised as permanently innovative and have much to teach other organisations. Positive change is constant.

No awareness
You are not a learning organisation. There isnt a culture of curiosity or experimentation and new ideas arent welcomed.

Some awareness
Your organisation is not yet listening or learning effectively, but ideas about improvement are floating around and not being squashed.

Adequate practice
There is some monitoring and evaluation but it is sporadic and not a consistent part of how things are done. New ideas do get discussed but only when people are being brave, most people keep their head down. By 6 there is understanding at senior levels (board or managers) that there needs to be a greater commitment to continuous learning and improvement.

Mostly good practice


Assessing outcomes and impact is part of organisational life but the information is not always drawn together so the learning can get lost. New ideas and innovation are encouraged in some parts of the organisation but not others. By 8 there is an attempt to introduce a consistent and deliberate culture of learning and innovation.

By 2 there are people discussing By 4 some new ideas have been this as a problem but they may tried and embedded perhaps not know how to change things. under the management radar.

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Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial 4 Learning

Has there been an improvement in this area since the last Dial reading (or over the last year if this is the first reading)? Yes No Dont know

If our infrastructure organisation has supported you on this area, and there has been an improvement, what percentage of the improvement do you think is down to us? (please estimate, e.g. 50%)

If yes, what do you think was the main cause of the improvement?

If anyone else has supported you on this area please say who:

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Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial 5 Leadership and governance

Does your organisations board and any senior staff make sound, well informed and well communicated decisions? Do they have the right skills and knowledge? Do the board and any senior staff work well together?

Do they ensure proper scrutiny, accountability, legal compliance and meaningful risk management? Does the leadership have the backing of the rest of the organisation? Are people empowered to be leaders in their area of work?

9 10
Strong practice, ongoing improvements
The organisation is well led and the leadership teams (board and senior staff) work well together, respecting their roles. Risks are factored into decisions to create a good portfolio of low, medium and high risk projects. By 10 people across the organisation are leaders in their areas and empowered to make decisions within the organisations strategy and accountability to beneficiaries. You may also be sharing your expertise on the development of excellent leadership and governance with others. 15

No awareness
The people who lead the organisation (on the board or as volunteers or staff) dont have the skills or knowledge needed and may not contribute effectively. One or two people make all the decisions, there are unresolved legal issues and there is little, if any, accountability. Basic systems such as having two signatories for the bank account are not in place. By 2 some people are discussing this as a problem but nothing is yet changing.

Some awareness
There is basic legal compliance in key areas but the board is not effective in holding the organisation to account. Leaders often appear to be working against each other and have big gaps in skills and knowledge. Some decisions are well considered but most are not and there is not enough preparation or scrutiny of decision making. By 4 one or two initiatives are underway to improve governance and leadership.

Adequate practice
Governance is good enough to ensure the organisation is fully legally compliant and makes reasoned and well informed decisions quite a lot of the time. However, there are significant issues such as staff and the board not understanding their roles, unclear lines of accountability or some parts of the organisation not following the direction of the leadership. By 6 the organisation is making a concerted effort to introduce good practice.

Mostly good practice


The organisations leadership takes with it most staff, volunteers, and beneficiaries. Most decisions are well reasoned and well informed. However, there are certain isolated areas of difficulty, for example, skills gaps, or not enough clarity on risk-taking versus risk-avoidance. By 8 work is underway to improve the areas of difficulty and work towards excellent, accountable leadership.

Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial 5 Leadership and governance

Has there been an improvement in this area since the last Dial reading (or over the last year if this is the first reading)? Yes No Dont know

If our infrastructure organisation has supported you on this area, and there has been an improvement, what percentage of the improvement do you think is down to us? (please estimate, e.g. 50%)

If yes, what do you think was the main cause of the improvement?

If anyone else has supported you on this area please say who:

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Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial 6 People

Is your organisation a good place to work and/or volunteer? Do you have the right people in the right roles with the right capabilities? Are people motivated?

Are people able to improve their knowledge and skills? Are people well managed and supported, working in an appropriate structure?

9 10
Strong practice, ongoing improvements
Your organisation is a great place to work; people feel committed and motivated, and they are very capable. People are supported and able to develop. The structure makes sense and supports the strategy. By 10 the organisation has a dynamic structure and brilliant people who are empowered to develop themselves.

No awareness
There are substantial problems around people and skills. While staff and/or volunteers may care about the organisation, there arent enough of them and those you have are overworked, under-skilled, de-motivated, poorly supervised and not doing their jobs well. Whilst people know that everyone is stretched and stressed there is no awareness that things could be different. By 2 key people are discussing this as a problem needing to be addressed but nothing is yet being done.

Some awareness
There are problems around people and skills and any people management systems that are in place are outdated or ineffective. Some key people understand that things need to change and are trying to address the issues. By 4 there are one or two initiatives to improve management, recruitment, retention, supervision and support; but the chances of a staff tribunal are still high.

Adequate practice
Adequate systems for staff supervision and disciplinary and grievance procedures are in place. Staff and volunteers have the core skills they need and some support. But there are problems like work overload, sickness, poor teamwork, and little support for career development. By 6 the organisation is making a concerted effort to improve practice.

Mostly good practice


Most people are capable, focused on their roles and do their jobs well. Recruitment and supervision are mostly good and issues that arise are dealt with through the right channels. There may be issues around organisation structure, a fair minority of under-performers, and hit-and-miss career development. By 8 there are initiatives to address these problems.

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Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial 6 People

Has there been an improvement in this area since the last Dial reading (or over the last year if this is the first reading)? Yes No Dont know

If our infrastructure organisation has supported you on this area, and there has been an improvement, what percentage of the improvement do you think is down to us? (please estimate, e.g. 50%)

If yes, what do you think was the main cause of the improvement?

If anyone else has supported you on this area please say who:

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Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial 7 Managing resources

Does your organisation use time, money, premises, IT, assets and energy efficiently? Is there good financial management? Are reserves wisely invested?

Do you have the right premises and use them well? Do you manage costs and energy use? Do you use new technologies to their full potential?

9 10
Strong practice, ongoing improvements
Your organisation manages any finances, premises, IT and assets well. Costs are tightly controlled and investments made with due attention to likely benefits. Resource allocation aligns with the strategy. Budgeting and forecasting processes are strong. By 10 you optimise resource use and allocation and empower people to manage their own costs.

No awareness
You dont manage finances well, with big under- or over-spends. Your people are in unsuitable premises with IT that hinders more than it helps. There is no awareness that things could be any different.

Some awareness
There is a budget of sorts, usable premises, and some working, if dated, IT but money, premises and IT are not well used. People recognise this and are actively exploring options to improve the situation.

Adequate practice
Your organisation has adequate premises and IT. It meets most minimum requirements in financial management and is thinking about its management of any reserves it might have or other assets. However, it is not proactive in looking at how to manage resources well to get the best value for beneficiaries. By 6 this is recognised and there are initiatives to improve resource management.

Mostly good practice


Use of resources is reasonably good with good premises, regularly updated budgets and reasonable IT resources. There are some initiatives to improve efficiency and some attention is given to the use of reserves and assets (e.g. intellectual property). Budgets are updated regularly. Improvements are needed in some specific areas e.g. cost control and sharing back-office functions. By 8 people are exploring extra efficiency savings and more effective allocation of resources to priority areas.

By 2 some people are voicing concerns about these issues but By 4 there are attempts are unsure how to improve things. to improve budgets, premises and IT.

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Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial 7 Managing resources

Has there been an improvement in this area since the last Dial reading (or over the last year if this is the first reading)? Yes No Dont know

If our infrastructure organisation has supported you on this area, and there has been an improvement, what percentage of the improvement do you think is down to us? (please estimate, e.g. 50%)

If yes, what do you think was the main cause of the improvement?

If anyone else has supported you on this area please say who:

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Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial 8 Communication

Does your organisation communicate effectively and purposefully? Does it look outwards and try to influence its environment?

Are you clear about different audiences, different messages and different formats? Are you making good use of online communication and social media?

9 10
Strong practice, ongoing improvements
Communication is dynamic, punchy and having the desired effect on different audiences including successfully changing policy at local or national level. Segmentation is working well and your people know whos spoken to who about what. Social media is used well, with a strong website. Internal communications are linked with external communications. By 10 you are a star communicator, with innovative messages and formats, and are a highly influential and respected negotiator within your field. The use of social media is embedded in your organisation. 21

No awareness
Your organisation rarely communicates to its beneficiaries, to potential funders or policy makers. It is not at all outward looking and does not respond to consultations or try to influence its environment in any way. When it does communicate, it uses outdated or unsuitable methods and messages that dont speak to its audiences. By 2 some people want to improve but are unsure where to start.

Some awareness
There is some communication with external stakeholders and occasionally people talk about trying to influence policy, but communication is not sophisticated and there are few channels for stakeholders to get their messages across to you. You are mainly focused on just one audience or audience type (e.g. funders, beneficiaries). By 4 key people understand the importance of better communication.

Adequate practice
You are outward looking at least to some extent. There are some main messages including policy positions and key people know these and communicate them externally. You respond to consultations some of the time. Communications do reach more people. There is some listening to stakeholders, but not enough. Theres a website. By 6, most people know the main messages and/or parts of the organisation are communicating well.

Mostly good practice


You are outward looking and your communication is good, consistent, and clear in a range of formats for the key audiences. You have clear policy positions on some issues and have been successful in lobbying for change in some areas. There is good listening to stakeholders and a good website. By 8, intelligence from outside is shared internally and outward communications are starting to be segmented and targeted.

Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial 8 Communication

Has there been an improvement in this area since the last Dial reading (or over the last year if this is the first reading)? Yes No Dont know

If our infrastructure organisation has supported you on this area, and there has been an improvement, what percentage of the improvement do you think is down to us? (please estimate, e.g. 50%)

If yes, what do you think was the main cause of the improvement?

If anyone else has supported you on this area please say who:

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Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial Notes

Name of infrastructure organisation Name of organisation/s supported Date of completion

Impact area Creating impact

Score

Notes (e.g. the reason for the score or details of progress made)

Income

Strategy

Learning

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Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial Notes continued

Name of infrastructure organisation Name of organisation/s supported Date of completion

Impact area Leadership and governance

Score

Notes (e.g. the reason for the score or details of progress made)

People

Managing resources

Communications

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Value of Infrastructure Programme: Organisation Dial

Organisation Dial Action and Review Grid

Impact area

Specific intended outcome

Planned activities (and who will do them)

To what extent was the specific outcome achieved? Green, amber, red

Estimate the proportion of the change that was due to our infrastructure organisations input E.g. about 50%

Reason For rating (green, amber or red) and/ or for infrastructure organisation contribution (%)

Next steps

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