What should my framework include?

This guide will help you create a local outcomes framework for culture and sport consisting of:

  • Outcomes triangle
  • Logic model
  • Evidence list
  • Performance indicators

Ideally, you should develop all four elements to really show the difference your service makes. But you don't have to. If you want to start with just an outcomes triangle or logic model you'll still find that useful.

Outcomes triangle

The outcomes triangle gives an overview of how culture and sport contribute to local priorities, either overall or to a specific policy theme such as strong communities. It shows the different levels of outcome that culture and sport contribute to.
Outcome triangle: strong communities 

Starting from the top, the outcomes triangle shows:

Overarching strategic outcomes
These are very high-level, long-term outcomes that culture and sport, along with other services, contribute to across the local population. They are likely to reflect the overall responsibilities of local government and its major partners.

Overarching strategic outcomes should resemble the local priorities set out in your local strategic plan, vision statements, partnership agreements, corporate plan or other strategic or partnership documents.

Intermediate outcomes
These are more specific non-cultural or non-sporting outcomes resulting directly from peoples' experiences of culture and sport. They are most likely to relate to service users or other specific groups. They show how culture and sport contribute in the short to medium term to the overarching strategic outcomes for the local population.

You may be able to identify intermediate outcomes in your local strategic plan, vision statement, corporate plan, service plans and funding or partnership agreements. If not, you may need to define them based on the differences you understand your service makes to individuals and communities.

Service outcomes
These are outcomes for culture and sport. Unlike the overarching or intermediate outcomes they are within the direct control of culture and sport providers.

Service outcomes should reflect the priorities in your culture or sport strategies, action plans, business plans, department or service plans, and partnership or funding agreements.

Logic model

The logic model illustrates the main links between service activities and local outcomes. It shows understanding of the benefits of culture and sport to individuals, communities and places, and how these in turn contribute to the achievement of intermediate and overarching strategic outcomes.
Logic model: Strong communities

Used from left to right, the logic model will help you evidence, communicate and advocate the contribution of culture and sport to the overarching strategic outcomes for your area. This in turn will help you strengthen partnership working and engage with the commissioning process.

Used from right to left, it will encourage service planning, improvement and design that is focused on achieving the overarching strategic outcomes.

The underlying assumptions about how and why the service activities lead to the different levels of outcome – the 'cause and effect' relationship between service provision and outcomes – should be supported by evidence wherever possible.
A step-by-step guide to creating an outcomes triangle and logic model

Evidence list

The evidence section of the framework underpins the outcomes triangle and logic model. It lists the sources of evidence that together best demonstrate the contribution of culture and sport to the outcomes.

You should use local evidence such as research studies, evaluations, surveys and case studies to support your outcomes triangle and logic model, as long as it is robust. You can back this up with evidence from national or international sources. You should aim to evidence all the different levels of outcome and the assumptions linking them together.

The lists provided on this website are examples of validated national and international evidence. The main source of this evidence is the Culture and Sport Evidence (CASE) Programme Research Database, managed by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). This has been supplemented by the most robust research evidence identified by Arts Council England, the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE), English Heritage, the Museums Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and Sport England.
Example of an evidence list for strong communities

  • CASE 'Engagement review': studies for public access. This is a database of research evidence on the drivers, impact and value of engagement in culture and sport.
    CASE Engagement review – on the Institute of Education website
  • Impact database: on the University of Glasgow website
    This is a bibliographical resource relating to research on the social and economic effects of arts, culture and major events, developed and maintained by the Centre for Cultural Policy Research at the University of Glasgow.
  • The 'Value of Sport monitor':– on the Sport England website
    This provides reference sources and critical reviews of published research evidence on the contribution of sport to a range of broader social issues. It is a joint Sport England and UK Sport initiative, working in conjunction with the University of Stirling.

Performance indicators

The set of performance indicators (PIs) is how you measure the contribution of culture and sport to local outcomes.
Example set of performance indicators for strong communities

The examples provided on this website are to help you select a ‘basket' of indicators appropriate to your own area, using a ‘pick-and-mix' approach. You don't have to use any of these suggestions if the PIs you or your partners already use are better.

You should identify a small number of PIs for each level of outcome (service, intermediate and overarching strategic outcome levels), as well as service output indicators. Your basket of PIs should provide a mix of outcome-focused quantitative and qualitative data and, alongside existing management information, also enable you to demonstrate efficiency and productivity.
A step-by-step guide to selecting performance indicators