According to a study financed under the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme of the European Union, most models of impact measurement focus on the “inputs, outputs, outcomes and impacts” value chain model:

Inputs → Outputs → Outcomes → Impacts

Where:

  • Inputs: are the investments made or the resources required to produce a deliverable, develop or undertake an activity;
  • Outputs: are the products or services provided;
  • Outcomes: are the immediate changes resulting from an activity – these can be intended or unintended, positive or negative;
  • Impacts: are the net difference made by an activity, taking into account what would have happened anyway, the contribution of others and the length of time the outcomes last.

The New Economics Foundation suggests1 that organisations (including projects) should develop an impact map to show the relationship between inputs, outputs and outcomes – sometimes known as the “theory of change” or logic model. Impact maps also show how inputs and activities lead to outputs and impacts.

The impact map of the Sci-GaIA project, at the end of the project, is reported below.

 

InputsOutputsOutcomesImpacts

  • A stong consortium made of "first class" African and European organisations with a long track record in (i) attracting and managing national and international fundings received to promote e-Infrastructures for e-Science in Italy, in Europe and in the rest of the world, and (ii) with a long experience in supporting Virtual Research Communities belonging several scientific domains.

  • Software frameworks, such as the Catania Science Gateway Framework, the FutureGateway framework, Invenio, Open edX, Discourse, etc. based on widely accepted international standards for building Science Gateways, Open Data infrastructures, Learning Management Systems for Open Educational Resources, and Open Collaboration Environments with many instances already successfully implemented, and currently available, for diverse scientific domains.

  • A deep knowledge and experience in building and operating DevOps-compliant Distributed (Grid and Cloud) Computing and Storage infrastructures in Italy, connected with largest e-Infrastructures in the world such as the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid (WLCG), coordinated by CERN, and the EGI.eu Federated Cloud.

  • A long experience in training and outreaching both IT service administrators and researchers belonging to various domains.
    The progressive deployment of the AfricaConnect and AfricaConnect2 infrastructure, that is already happening now and will continue in the next years.

  • The very promising results already achieved by past projects, such as eI4Africa and CHAIN-REDS.

  • The many Communties of Practice already approached and the several promising ones already identified.

  • The commitment of both Sub-Saharan RRENs (UBUNTUNET and WACREN).


  • A fully-fledged federated Open Science Platform to store and make discoverable and citable all kinds of research products (papers, datasets, data collections, algorithms, configurations, tools and applications, codes, workflows, scripts, libraries, services, system software, infrastructure, compilers, virtualised hardware, etc.) related to scolarship.

  • A DevOps-compliant public research e-Infrastructure (both Grid and Cloud based) for projects and applications.

  • A catalogue of services for different types of “customers”.

  • A complete series of training and educational materials, documented and organised in various courseware, adapted for CoPs’ end users as well as MSc and PhD students.

  • 5 DataCite DOI prefixes granted to as many organisations in the continent allowing the allocation of an unlimited number of DOIs to scientific products.

  • 5 Open Data Repositories deployed and supported.

  • 7 new Science Gateways deployed in the continent.

  • An e-Research Hackfest model based on pedagogical principles and qualified as an education tool.

  • More than 100 dissemination and communication media

  • A web forum where people (users, stakeholders, decision makers) can freely discuss e-Infrastructure and Open Science related topics.

  • "35 “champions” coming from several different countries in the continent.

  • 24 Communities of Practice supported.

  • Increased number of MSc and PhD students aware of the benefits of the Open Science paradigm and actually adopting it in their day-by-day activity.

  • Hundreds of people trained on Science Gateways and e-Infrastructures and how to use both to do Open Science.

  • Thousands of people made aware of Science Gateways, e-Infrastructures and Open Science.

  • A sustainable ecosystem of Open Science compliant, Open Innovation capable and Open Education based collaboration across Africa.

  • A number of UN Sustainable Development Goals effectively addressed: (3) Good Health and Well-being, (4) Quality Education, (9) Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure, (11) Sustainable Cities and Communities, (13) Climate Action and (17) Partnerships for the Goals.

  • Effective impacts on African health and public health and, consequently, on the quality and duration of life.


New Economics Foundation (NEF) (2009), “Proving value and improving practice: a discussion about social return on investment (SROI)”, Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and NEF Consulting, London.