When using NPC’s Well-being Measure, we always emphasise the importance of planning and preparation. Nowhere is this more crucial than when it comes to collecting data at the start of your programme – what is known as ‘baseline data’.
Baseline data is information gathered before a program begins – in the case of NPC’s Well-being Measure with your ‘initial’ survey. This data is used later on to provide a comparison for assessing your programme’s impact after you have completed the ‘follow-up’ survey.
If you don’t collect good baseline data then you will not be able to make a reliable comparison and risk underplaying your impact. For good baseline data, there are two main issues you need to think about:
1. Make sure as many participants as possible complete the initial survey. The Well-being Measure matches individual participants between your two surveys so you need that initial point of comparison if you want to have a large sample.
2. Collect data before your course starts. We know that in some programmes the most rapid change in young people’s well-being happen early on so if you don’t collect your baseline data until after the programme has begun, then you may not capture all your impact.
For guidance on setting up your evaluation and collecting data, visit our Help & FAQs page.