This briefing is based on the research of Samir Singh Nathoo, the Community Development Officer at Arsenal in the Community. He conducted his research at our Centre in 2016 as part of the Clore Social Fellowship. Based on his findings, Samir shares why it’s important that the community and voluntary sector start measuring wellbeing impact, in its various forms, alongside ‘traditional’ outcomes, like employment rates.
Wellbeing is a different and useful lens to help us move away from a deficit focus, for example re-frame ‘reducing gang membership’ to become ’building healthy relationships’.
Staff in the sector are enthused by measuring wellbeing, since it’s where they consider they make a real difference, despite measuring it informally.
Wellbeing can be useful for a common outcomes framework and narrative across different projects, themes and departments.
Wellbeing is a useful lens for a place-based focus to show impact on community wellbeing, not just individuals.
Wellbeing is a useful narrative tool for sharing stories about our impact on people’s lives.
Wellbeing offers new data for us to consider base decision making on, rather than using deprivation and health indices alone.
We need to use existing, recognised wellbeing questions for our surveys, not make up new ones in order to benchmark.
You may be improving wellbeing without realising it. Measuring wellbeing impacts is important even if you don’t think your project or organisation is about improving wellbeing.
A wellbeing lens can help us measure impact based on strategies, aims and mission statements. It is at the heart of these and now there is a way to measure them.
A wellbeing lens fits well with an asset-based approach. An asset-based approach makes visible and values the skills, knowledge, connections and potential in a community. It means how we deliver, not just what, is important.
Improving wellbeing is what our sector actually does and is best placed to deliver. This is why we should measure it.
For further analysis and recommendations download the briefing.