Our nested approach works at a strategic, programme and service level

We have developed an approach that helps large complex and multi-layered initiatives really understand how they make a difference.

  • Get everyone together to agree and map high level theory of change that shows how all of the commissioned services collectively make a difference to people and communities.

  • Support each funded service to create their own pathway through this map to highlight each organisation or programme contribution to the outcomes.

  • Support funded services to track their progress, reflect on their mix of data, feedback and evidence and narrate their contribution.

  • Help to analyse all of the service maps back up to the strategic map to showcase the impact of the programme.

We have extensive expertise in working with this kind of nested approach to demonstrate the complex way that programmes of work collectively make a difference to the outcomes that matter to funders and commissioners.

Our work in this area is led by Matter of Focus Co-Founder and Director, Dr Ailsa Cook.

Dr Ailsa Cook


Learn more about Ailsa

The support that will help you with this work

Context and success story workshops

We help you examine and create a shared understanding of the wider factors that influence the same change and are likely to help and hinder progress. Such contextual factors include relational and individual components as well as material and societal drivers, including norms and predominant values.

To help you understand the context of programmes of activities, we use an adapted version of the evidence-based “ISM Framework” created by the Scottish Government.

Outcome mapping workshops, meetings and presentations

Outcome mapping is fully a participatory process to understand and build a theory of change: linking activities to the change that you seek.

These sessions can include a wide range of stakeholders who can bring a perspective on the system and the change needed, or we can coordinate a round of consultation to ensure important perspectives are included.

The resulting outcome maps form the basis for assessment plans.

Assessment plans

Working together, we think about how change will be monitored and what combination of reflection, feedback and data is needed to understand change in order to learn, improve and keep the programme on track.

Software that holds it all together

OutNav is our secure, cloud-based software that provides a single place to hold your outcome maps and assessment plans, bringing together your data and evidence for ongoing learning, monitoring and improvement, with clear and professional reporting functions. Explore OutNav→

Recent client work

Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) -Unpaid Carers

Edinburgh HSCP is taking an innovative approach to outcomes focused commissioning for organisations delivering support to unpaid carers in Edinburgh.

Long-term contracts agreed with organisations are led by what matters to carers, as set out in the Carers Strategy.

We are supporting the HSCP and funded organisations to track their progress towards these outcomes using a shared evaluation framework that will integrate their agreed KPIs along with diverse and rich data about the difference they make and what they are learning from their work with unpaid carers.