The purpose of this evaluation is to understand what the programme has achieved so far, and to contribute to programme development. The evaluation takes a theory-based approach and has developed a Theory of Change as a way of evaluating the impact of the programme.

The evaluation finds that the programme is achieving change in a range of factors impacting people’s health in neighbourhoods experiencing a high level of disadvantage. People involved in Active Communities projects have reported greater overall levels of happiness and wellbeing.

Within the social determinants of health the project has contributed to increased social connections, greater knowledge and skills, and the development of higher levels of collective control. Case study evidence details local outcomes as a result of people in the programmes neighbourhoods developed a greater sense of control.

Projects have succeeded in engaging new residents with local activities and have been able to appeal to a range of demographics and interests.

Key findings

85% of survey respondents reported reduced isolation;

81% reported an increased sense of belonging;

78% reported an increased sense of collective or individual aspiration.

“Active Communities is redefining and reimagining communities. An individual’s passion has an influence on those around them."

National Stakeholder

About the evaluation

Ecorys UK independently evaluated the Active Communities programme’s theory of change and its impact from 2016 to 2020. This first year Active Communities evaluation was published in November 2016.