At Osca we think it’s important for social programmes to have a good understanding of their impact. This isn’t a matter of cost-benefit analysis, although an accurately costed model remains important, it’s about seeking an honest appraisal of the effectiveness of a programme. This needn’t mean an expensive independent evaluation. It should mean instead a robust collection of information that can simply and reliably be used for measuring what a programme is doing and how well it is doing it. In recent work on the Troubled Families dataset we have been making the argument that caseload is a better measure of social impact than aggregated reach because it can tell us much more about the capacity of a programme to help the people it aims to support. This is the first stage of a research programme that will look at benchmarking support programme models in ways that are comparable and, above all, useful to those running and funding them.

Our social impact work has two major strands:

  1. Evaluation – we regularly evaluate social programmes, most recently working on evaluating Year of Care for the NHS, coaching as a health intervention for Health Education North Central and East London (NCEL) and a youth employment programme. The aim of all our evaluations is to increase the capacity of organisations to monitor and assess the effectiveness of their work without needing to draw on external support.
  1. Measurement – we draw on research as well as our evaluation experience to test and model new approaches to shared measurement within social programmes. We are currently developing simple metrics that will help programmes to benchmark and compare their work using data they already collect as a matter of course.


Blog: We need to talk about Kids Company
Blog: Total Numbers of Clients Versus Caseload: why the latter is a better measure
Download Publication: Comparing Data: The Osca Troubled Families Dataset
Video: Shared Measurement: Rethinking Impact


Shared Measurement
Viridian Housing
Long Term Conditions (Islington)