ImpactEd case studies

Designing The Country Trust’s Theory of Change to help them innovate successfully

The Country Trust is a national education charity that aims to connect children from areas of high social and economic disadvantage with the countryside. They believe every child should discover first-hand the connections between the food they eat, their own health and the health of the planet. They offer a range of food, farming and countryside experiences including programmes like Farm and Food Discovery, Farm in a box and Farm residentials. They particularly work with schools with a higher-than-average percentage of children eligible for Free School Meals and support groups of school children with Special Educational Needs or who are not in mainstream education (PRUs) and non-school groups supporting young carers, looked-after children, refugees and asylum seekers.

How has ImpactEd Evaluation contributed to The Country Trust’s  mission?

ImpactEd Evaluation worked with The Country Trust to develop their organisational Theory of Change and ongoing monitoring and evaluation framework. This was a complex process bringing on board a variety of stakeholders, from Trustees to programme delivery staff. In order to get input from all of them in the process, we ran a survey with staff members, which could then feed into a dedicated Theory of Change workshop with a select number of attendees.

The Country Trust embraced their new Theory of Change as a living document, reflecting and adapting over the years as is needed. They have found it a particularly useful tool to share with stakeholders both inside and outside the organisation, having their Theory of Change published on their website. They also continue to use the tools from the framework to monitor their ongoing programmes, so that they are collecting appropriate data for their annual reporting.

Jill Attenborough, CEO
“Our ToC is definitely a living working document. We use it all the time and it is used in the project design process as well as to monitor our ongoing programmes. We have shared it far and wide and funders in particular seem very keen to see it, and like it. Personally I love the ToC, I think it keeps us grounded and focused but also allows us to innovate successfully because it provides a clear framework”

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