Sustainable Steps Wales - How to track your progress
Measuring the progress of your project
Set outcomes for your project
We ask you to set up to four ‘outcomes’ for your project. By outcomes we mean short descriptions of the changes you are trying to make. They should tell us what difference your project will make to reduce carbon emissions and promote a sustainable, low-carbon future for Wales.
Use indicators to measure your outcomes
Once you have chosen your outcomes you need to set at least one ‘indicator’ for each outcome. An indicator is something you can measure to know that your outcome is happening. They help you measure your progress towards making that change. The indicator is the answer to the question: “if a change is happening, how will we know?”
How to set your indicators
Indicators for outcomes can measure numbers, such as a reduction in carbon emissions. They could also measure people's behaviour, such as people feeling motivated to buy less, or to repair items instead of replacing them.
For each indicator, you should explain:
- How much will change – for example “50 more people will be able to repair textiles”
- When it will happen – for example “by the end of the first year”
- How you will get this information – for example “surveys at the start and end of the year”.
Examples of outcomes and indicators
You could lay out your outcomes and indicators like these examples:
Example outcome for a young people’s project
Outcome: More young people in our community have taken action to reduce their carbon emissions.
Indicator: Number of young people that reported changing the way they behave to reduce carbon emissions, and continued to do so after six months.
Timings and indicator levels:
- By the end of year 1: 100 young people
- By the end of year 2: 200 young people
- By the end of the project: 300 young people.
How we’ll get this information: We’ll use surveys at the start of the project, and follow-up surveys afterwards to measure the change.
Example outcome for a project reducing food waste
Outcome: Less food will be wasted.
Indicator: Weight of surplus food saved and redistributed.
Timings and indicator levels:
- By the end of year 1: 250 tonnes of surplus food redistributed
- By the end of the project: 400 tonnes of surplus food redistributed.
How we’ll gather this information: We’ll weigh the food redistributed each week.
Measure reduced carbon emissions if you can
We want to know how our funding is reducing carbon emissions. If your project will make a measurable reduction to carbon emissions, you should include this in your outcomes.
Tell us about the other benefits of your project
We also want to know about any other likely benefits or outcomes of your project, even if they are not related to climate action. For example, the money people have saved by repairing items, or reduced isolation through meeting other people.
You may need to change how and what you measure
Projects can have unexpected outcomes, desirable or undesirable. You may need to adjust some outcomes and indicators as you go. You should also collect stories or learning about the changes you see in your project, or that you expected to see but did not happen. Collecting this information will help you and us learn, and will help you improve your project as you go.
You’ll need to keep us updated
We’ll ask how far you’ve got towards meeting your outcomes each year, and at the end of the project. Finding practical and realistic ways of measuring this progress is very important. It’ll help your project succeed and improve your relationship with us or other funders.
How to get help
We are working on evaluation guidance. This will be ready by 31 March 2023, in time to support you if we fund your project.
If you need help get in touch by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can also find out more about climate action by visiting our climate action hub.