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Understanding Impact Statements Session 66. Bret W. Hess Director Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station Revised 2010. Demand for Increased Accountability. Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA)

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understanding impact statements session 66

Understanding Impact StatementsSession 66

Bret W. Hess


Wyoming Agricultural Experiment Station

Revised 2010

demand for increased accountability
Demand for Increased Accountability
  • Government Performance and Results Act of 1993 (GPRA)
    • Required an accountability system based on performance measurement, including setting goals and objectives and measuring progress toward achieving them
  • AREERA of 1998
    • Required Plans of Work, Annual Reports
  • President’s Management Agenda - 2001
  • The Performance Assessment Rating Tool (PART) (http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/part/)
  • Assessment based resource allocations
what is impact
What is Impact?
  • The quantifiable difference a program makes in the quality of life for its users.
  • A measurable change in condition.
  • Quantitative, measurable benefits of the research outputs as experienced by those who receive them.

- However, the challenge has been to assess, determine and effectively communicate the impacts of our efforts.

who cares
Who cares?
  • The Public
  • Congress
  • Federal, state and local officials
  • Stakeholders
  • External funding sources
  • Industry representatives
  • College leadership
why does their opinion matter
Why does their opinion matter?
  • Seeking quantifiable benefits of programs
  • Have competition for their attention and money
  • Exercise some type of control over your programs
  • “The Golden Rule”!!!! $$$$$$$$$$$$
what is an impact statement
What is an Impact Statement?
  • A brief summary in lay terms that describes the difference that your efforts have made.
    • Highlights the difference your program is making for the public good.
    • Concisely summarizes what you did to achieve this difference.
    • Clearly states payoffs to society.
    • Answers key questions: So what? Who cares? Why?
impacts in the context of the logic model








Program investments

What we do

Who we reach

What we invest

What results

Impacts in the context of the Logic Model



Long Term

University of Wisconsin-Extension, Program Development and Evaluation

  • Adoption of technology
  • Creation of jobs
  • Reduced cost to the consumer
  • Less pesticide exposure to farmers
  • Access to more nutritious food
  • Cleaner environment and healthier communities
Reports, publications, patents, data, workshops or information

Description of the program or process

Number of persons attending a meeting

Number of persons enrolled in a program

These are outputs!!!


elements of a good impact statement
Elements of a good Impact Statement?

It illustrates change in at least one of the following:

  • Economic value or efficiency
  • Environmental quality
  • Societal/individual well-being
an impact statement relating to economic return
An Impact Statement relating to economic return

Five years ago, Anderson County pork producers spent $17 more than the state average to raise a market hog. We helped them improve their record keeping and production practices, and costs dropped by $20 to $3.19 BELOW the state average. Each farm’s profit increased $345,000 over five years, bringing more hogs, more jobs, and more spending to the county.

an impact statement relating to environmental quality
An Impact Statement relating to environmental quality

Chopped waste paper is an economical substitute for wood chips commonly used as bedding by the horse industry. Our scientists have found that the paper absorbs moisture better too. By using some of the 76 million tons of paper Americans throw away each year, researchers can reduce landfill demands, save a few trees and keep horses comfy all at once.

Can this be improved, if so how??

an impact statement relating to health and social wellbeing
An Impact Statement relating to health and social wellbeing

Social/Individual wellbeing… (health)

No standards exist for wooden basketball, dance and aerobics floors. So, we’re setting them. Our scientists study the role of floor type and construction in chronic-use injuries that often make people stop exercising. Computer models predict how a floor reacts to various forces or environmental changes. Those predictions, and what doctors know about chronic athletic injuries, bring a prescription for safer exercise for athletes of all ages and abilities.

Can this be improved, if so how??

reporting potential impact
Reporting potential impact...

Potential impact should be considered, especially in basic research and teaching or youth education work.

example of potential impact
Example of “potential impact”

We bought special software for classroom computers. The students learned to analyze the total true cost of producing food products. Using the same software industry uses makes these students ready for the job market and ready to enhance the food industry.

additional resources google writing impact statements
Additional Resources Google “writing impact statements”

Writing Extension Impact Statements http://web.utk.edu/~aee/impactstatements.htm

Impact Statements http://www.ca.uky.edu/agpsd/impact.htm

Impact Statements for Researchers


Writing Effective Impact Statements: Who Cares? So What?