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Queen's University

School of Policy Studies

9th Annual National Forum of the Public Policy and Third Sector Initiative

Assessing the Impact of Community and Voluntary Sector Activity
How are we measuring up?

November 20-21, 2009


As government budgets are getting tighter, the value of voluntary sector activities in generating a satisfactory return on investment is increasingly being scrutinized. This has made it imperative for voluntary sector organizations to demonstrate what they can achieve with public monies. However, focusing on outputs has traditionally failed to capture the extent of the contribution of their work, and therefore, the validity and usefulness of the data generated is being questioned. This year's theme deals with some of the challenges of going beyond measuring inputs, activities and outputs in order to assess impacts and outcomes.

A number of collaborative initiatives are underway and innovative experiments in impact assessment methods have emerged that can highlight the benefits of the work of the voluntary sector. This conference will explore what factors are conducive or limiting when implementing successful impact assessment processes.

This conference provides a unique learning experience. By bringing together public servants, academics and community practitioners who reflect different perspectives on issues and challenges, the conference creates a space to learn, explore and share by looking at different facets of a problem. It is designed to help people learn more about effective and meaningful ways to capture the outputs, outcomes and impacts of community and voluntary sector activity.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the conference participants will:

  1. Gain an improved understanding of the challenges and benefits of outcome measurement from various perspectives;
  2. Provoke new thinking and learn ways to improve outcome measurement.

School of Policy Studies, Robert Sutherland Hall
Kingston, Ontario, Canada. K7L 3N6. 613.533.3020