Waterways & Wellbeing, Building the Evidence Base sets out the Outcomes Measurement Framework (OMF) we have developed to measure the broad social, economic and environmental impacts that our waterways and our activities have on the communities they serve.
The report explores the waterways' contribution to economic, social, cultural and environmental wellbeing in England and Wales and details the methodologies being adopted by us to measure the real improvements people see in their lives thanks to canals and rivers. By developing a robust and transparent evidence-based system of outcome reporting we will be able to track trends, improve its insight and performance, and demonstrate how we are helping to meet UK and Welsh Governments' goals and measures for wellbeing.
Heather Clarke, our director of strategy & planning said: "This report brings together the work of the past few years as we seek to capture more rigorously the positive outcomes that the Trust's canals and river navigations deliver, making a material difference to people's lives. This is just the start, but it is a base camp from which we can climb as we build greater understanding and appreciation among policy makers, politicians, partners and funders of the positive outcomes generated by our waterways."
The OMF was developed in collaboration with Cardiff University's Sustainable Places Research Institute and with support from an external reference group, comprised of experts from a range of backgrounds, representing: academia; the public, private and charity sectors with an interest or expertise in public policy and benefit measurement; and specialists in outcome measurement supporting charity sector.
Touching lives and communities
Nancy Hey, centre director at What Works Wellbeing and a guest speaker at the launch event, said: "The work that the Canal & River Trust is doing on outcomes measurement is groundbreaking. We know that access to green space and heritage activities boost wellbeing for all, but this work is showing impact beyond how we might traditionally view it. The approach is something that can be useful for a wide range of other organisations. Because it gives a more robust and rounded understanding of how our waterways touch our lives and communities it means that we can do more to improve the lives of people in the UK."