Third Sector Interface: outcome framework

Activites and outcomes of Third Sector Interface (TSI) work funded by the Scottish Government.

How we have developed this framework

Scottish Government commissioned Evaluation Support Scotland (ESS) to facilitate the coproduction of an outcomes framework.


  • Consulted with the TSIs Chief Executive Officers at a network meeting
  • Recruited and facilitated a working group of 10 people(17 TSIs applied)
  • Met with TSU to better understand the role they envisioned for TSIs
  • Kept the TSI network on general progress.

The working group met three times. The group included Helen Webster and Robert Mitchell from TSU. In developing this framework

  • The group considered previous models developed by the network in June[5] and August[6] 2017, and looked at the Understanding intermediaries impact resource[7].
  • The group asked for feedback from colleagues and partners within their TSI and local stakeholders and tried out the framework locally.

This finalised framework has now been adopted by the Third Sector Unit and should be used by TSIs to develop and report on their work plans in conversation with TSU. It will be kept under review in dialogue with the network.

A logic model approach

A logic model is a diagram that tells the story of your project or programme. It shows a link between the need to you have identified, what you do and how you make a difference, short, medium and long term. It allows us to see how we make a difference to the people we directly work with and how that's contributes to strategic outcomes.

For more information about logic models go to ESS guide developing a logic model.

We chose this approach because it allowed us to reconcile how you respond to local need within a broader vision of the network and some shared outcomes, as well as showing Scottish government how we are contributing to the National Performance Framework.

See the model overleaf

TSI Network vision: Resilient and empowered communities creating a stronger, fairer and more equitable Scotland with a thriving third sector at it’s heart
Or your own vision
Role/ Aims Local situation Activities Short term outcomes Medium term outcomes National performance framework

This describes the roles funded
by the Third Sector Unit

To be a central source of
knowledge about

  • Third Sector locally,
  • local and national policy and
    how it might affect local TS,
    communities and citizen
  • how Third sector can
    contribute to those agendas.

Dependent upon local context

(needs, other providers etc.)


Ensuring a strong third sector voice
at a strategic level within local
planning structures and nationally

Build capacity

Developing the capacity of
volunteering, community groups,
voluntary organisations and social
enterprise to achieve positive


Providing leadership, vision and
coordination to the local third
sector to better respond to local
priorities, including through
partnership and collaboration

TSI to identify
local context


What is current
state of play with
TS involvement
with HSC and
Planning other
strategic forums?

What local
outcomes might
TS contribute to
and who needs to
be connected?

What capacity
needs do TS
have, who might
meet those
needs, what
might TSI do to
ensure they
might be met?

To be decided
by TSI

Should have
some activity
in relation to
each role

You will
report on
these planned
activities, but
they are not
set in stone

These local
outcomes to
be set by TSI

Should have at
least one
outcome in
relation to
each role

These are the
outcomes you
will measure
and report on

Link your outcomes
to one or more of
these common TSI

1.People are more
involved in their

2.Improved cross sector

3. Third sector
organisations are better
able to lead and
develop shared agendas

4. Third sector
organisations are better
able to respond to local

5. Key decision making
includes third sector

6.Third sector
organisations are better
able to contribute to a
strong and inclusive
local social economy

Link to at least one of these outcomes
and relevant national indicator

We have a globally competitive,
entrepreneurial, inclusive and sustainable

We are open, connected and make a positive
contribution internationally.

We tackle poverty by sharing opportunities,
wealth and power more equally.

We live in communities that are inclusive,
empowered, resilient and safe.

We grow up loved, safe and respected so that
we can realize our full potential.

We are well educated, skilled and able to
contribute to society.

We have thriving and innovative businesses,
with quality jobs and fair work for everyone.

We are healthy and active We value, enjoy,
protect and enhance our environment.

We are creative and our vibrant and diverse
cultures are enjoyed widely.

We respect, protect and fulfil human rights
and live free from discrimination.

Generic assumptions you might want to identify specific assumptions underpinning your plan

The third sector encompasses social enterprises, small community groups and voluntary organisations. Each have different support needs and link into different strategies

Volunteers are fundamental to thriving communities, all third sector organisations are run by voluntary boards, many organisations involve volunteers in delivering services

Most third sector organisations contribute to the local economy in spending and employing staff

TSIs are independent bodies and are able to use that to take a leadership role in challenging others

Good governance is the building block of an effective third sector and leads to continued public confidence

We also need to be well governed and focussed on improvement and sharing learning

TSIs role is to act as brokers for local third sector perspectives and community needs, to create connections
between people and showcase how the third sector can contribute to local outcomes

TSIs take a human rights approach by championing the involvement of local people and communities

TSI’s gain their intelligence in part through supporting and connecting the sector, but may use different models for doing this, dependent upon who else is supporting the sector locally

Generic external factors

You might want to identify more specific factors that might affect
your outcomes

Extent to which TSI are allowed at a local level to contribute to policy,
development and community engagement

TSI have support to stay ahead of policy developments

TSI staff can come together to raise common concerns with govt and other national organisations


Email: Stephen O’Neill

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