Impact Framework

We’ve developed a tool that will allow any garden to generate their own impact framework. The impact framework tool provides a list of measures that can be collected and reported on over time. Gardens are free t0 choose what measures might be a good fit for their particular situation…

Impact areas

The framework and tool automatically groups measures into key performance indicators under specific impact areas. Before you start creating your own impact framework you might want to explore these impact areas and research that supports those, simply select the impact area of interest below.

The Impact Framework tool below facilitates navigation through the measurement hierarchy. You can select groups of measures by simply selecting an impact area and/or key performance indicator. You’ll see the sunburst chart populate as measures are selected so you can get an idea of what the overall framework is composed of. Once you’ve selected all the measures of interest then simply export the resulting impact framework to a spreadsheet and/or document for your own use, to add your own measures and for data logging purpose.

The tool allows you to quick select a pre-populated framework from one of the templates available from the drop down menu. Once selected a template can then be tailored by deselecting or selecting other measures.

Framework applied

As a medium on which to test and exercise this newly developed impact framework Innermost Gardens have been collecting data on various measures since January 2019. You can explore their own impact framework, their measurements, and subsequent narrative further by clicking the below link.

Our method

Our work aims to support the growth and development of community gardens and other forms of urban agriculture. We found there is not enough quantitative evidence showing the benefits of community gardens for more evidence-based urban planning. The research works toward designing a key performance indicator framework for community gardens to be able to easily measure and collect more data on their impacts. The first step in that journey was to develop a comprehensive desktop study, the literature review.

Literature Review

The literature review established a general understanding of the existing social, health and environmental impacts of community gardens and how they are measured from international studies. The review also highlighted the importance of analysing the context of each garden to better understand the impacts they have on their community. An important distinction between indirect and direct environmental benefits was also highlighted and it was concluded that more direct environmental impacts need to be measured – this will generate a lot more quantitative data.

Data Collection

For our project interviews and surveys were carried out seeking social, health and environmental impacts of Innermost community gardens in Mt Victoria, Wellington. 10 semi-structured interviews were undertaken with Innermost gardeners (mix of allotment holders, volunteers & organisers) to seek the social and health impacts gained from the gardens. 10 hours of stopping composters at the gardens and surveying them on their composting habits were undertaken to gain more quantitative data on the gardens direct environmental impacts. This work helped to inform what key performance indicators (KPI’s) and measures might be appropriate to use.

KPI Generation

Drawing from reflections on stage 1 & 2, an impact framework was developed which consists of 19 KPI’s with 100 measures organised by 6 different impacts categories. The KPI’s are organised by impact so that a garden can easily identify the most important measures to take for their garden. Some gardens may consider their social impact to be most important, whereas others may think their health impact is. An urban or market farm can also measure their economic impact. The framework is designed not just for community gardens but also for any existing and future forms of urban agriculture.