The Potential of Existing Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Surveys to Support the Commonwealth Games 2014 Legacy Evaluation

The review focusses on data sources not already in use in the evaluation (eg in the baseline report or on the Assessing Legacy website) that could shed insight into the extent to which Scotland’s games legacy ambitions are met over time, especially in the areas of sports participation; volunteering; cultural engagement and civic pride.


Ipsos MORI were commissioned by the Scottish Government to conduct a Data Review in support of the Commonwealth Games Legacy Evaluation. The work aimed to assess the potential of existing cross-sectional and longitudinal surveys to answer some research questions in four topic areas in the evaluation of the legacy of the games. The study was designed to complement Report 1: Questions, Methods and Baseline of the Games Legacy Evaluation Working Group (GLEWG) that had already identified a number of indicators and baselines.


Data sources were identified through several sources including literature reviews, online searches and through the UK data service. Each data source was measured against the following criteria: relevance; quality; regularity and disaggregation.

Surveys that met the criteria were then assessed to establish which could best address the legacy evaluation. A number of surveys were assessed and three surveys were deemed most suitable for exploratory secondary analysis: Understanding Society; the Life Opportunities Survey; and the Glasgow Household Survey (GHS).

Sports participation

The indicators used in Report 1 to measure the sports participation legacy are robust and cover all target groups. Additional data sources identified in this study provided further depth by allowing longitudinal analysis of the same issues.


Similarly, robust data on volunteering by adults is covered by the existing evidence collected by the Scottish Household Survey (SHS)(outlined in Report 1) and at the East End of Glasgow level by GoWell. The Glasgow Household Survey would provide valuable data at a city level. However, the questions used in these surveys differ and do not allow for direct comparison. Consideration should be given to bring these questions into line.

There is also a gap in evidence when it comes to young people and the extent of their volunteering. We would advise including questions on volunteering in a young persons' omnibus survey.

Cultural activities

The SHS and GoWell provide the main indicators of participation in cultural activities at a national and local level. Understanding Society and Life Opportunities Survey allow for longitudinal analysis of cultural activities though add little in terms of topic coverage.

As with volunteering there is a gap in relation to levels of cultural participation among young people.

Civic Pride

The indicators available for measuring civic pride at a national level are limited. Understanding Society does provide measures of neighbourhood pride but it is unclear whether these would be expected to change as a result of the Games. The Glasgow Household Survey asks more directly about civic pride, providing information at a city level, while GoWell provides this information at an East End level.

The Scottish Government have outlined plans to fill the gaps in evidence at a national level by placing questions on civic pride on an adult and young persons' omnibuses. This will go some way in filling the current gaps in national and civic pride at the Scotland level.

Measuring impact

A common thread across all four topic areas is the benefit of the inclusion of questions in the key longitudinal surveys around awareness of, and types of participation in the Commonwealth Games. Without such questions, the scope for analysing the direct effect of the Games will be limited.


Email: Niamh O'Connor

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