At the Centre for Public Impact we believe that the touchstone for any government should be the results it achieves for its citizens: its public impact. As outlined in our report on the Public Impact Gap, the difference between what governments are achieving and what they could achieve often proves significant, with important repercussions on individual lives.
To help power the journey from idea to impact, and after analysing hundreds of case studies in our Observatory, we developed the Public Impact Fundamentals, a systematic attempt to understand what makes a successful policy outcome and describe what can be done to maximise the chances of achieving public impact.
We have found that three things are fundamental to improved public impact: Legitimacy, Policy and Action. Legitimacy – the underlying support for a policy and the attempts to achieve it; Policy – the design quality of policies intended to achieve impact; and Action – translation of policies into real-world effect. Within each Fundamental are three elements, which collectively contribute to performance and lead to improved public impact.
Our approach to achieving public impact is illustrated in the Public Impact Fundamentals report (also available in Spanish and Portuguese.) Our related rubric allows policymakers to evaluate their performance against each of the nine elements and to identify stronger factors as well as areas for improvement.
We did not develop the Fundamentals with the view to it being a universal and prescriptive list – instead, we are interested to see whether they are consistent with the day-to-day activities of practitioners. We anticipate that once they are deployed in real world scenarios, new and interesting uses will develop. We are confident that the Public Impact Fundamentals can help bridge the gap between governments’ potential and reality.