Publication - Strategy/plan

Third Sector Interface: outcome framework

Published: 16 Nov 2018

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

Third Sector Interface: outcome framework
How the model works

How the model works


At the top is an overarching vision, which frames the overall model. We should emphasise that this is only a vision for TSU funded work. The TSI network might want to reframe this for their purposes. Individual TSIs might want to insert and refer to their own vision statement.

Aims and roles

This describes the roles that Scottish Government want to fund. The key role is to be a source of intelligence about the sector locally and how they might contribute to and be affected by local and national policy. This should help to determine what action needs to be taken locally to enable third sector organisations to be heard, connected and be effective in responding to local need and outcomes.

Local situation

We recognise that each area is very different. The Scottish Government want to understand the situation you are addressing locally in terms of

  • TS involvement in local planning structures,
  • Local outcomes and priorities
  • The particular capacity needs and gaps that you have identified.

Here you can talk about specific issues/audiences; for example what needs to be done to strengthen social enterprise networks/ plan or needs re volunteering.


You should decide what activities need to happen locally to address the situation that you have identified. We have given some examples below, but these are not prescriptive or comprehensive.

You can change your activities if you find better ways to achieve your outcomes, but you should keep TSU informed of any major changes.

Source of local intelligence

Enabling voices to be heard

Connect: leadership, vision and coordination

Build capacity needs



Advice and one to one Support to TS

Websites(to share intelligence with others)


Annual conference

TS forums and networks

Responding to consultations

Meetings with influencers

Briefing papers

Events bringing together people from different sectors

Forums and networks for third sector orgs or volunteers

Annual conference

Brokering connections


Database of TS orgs and services

Support to find volunteer opportunities

Meetings with support agencies to identify gaps

Sharing Good practice events

Workshops/ Training

Training/ support needs analysis

Short term outcomes

These are local outcomes that can be delivered within or over a couple of years. They are the main outcomes you will measure and report on. They should follow on from your specific local activity and they should be within your power to deliver. See guide to outcomes on page 10

We suggest limiting the number of outcomes to between four and ten, but have at least one outcome for each role around 'Voice', 'Build Capacity' and 'Connect'.

Here are some examples, which are neither prescriptive nor comprehensive

  • The public have greater access to volunteering
  • Participants will have greater skills or understanding in relation to a specific area/work topic
  • Local influencers have a better understanding of the role and contribution of social enterprises in a particular area (client group/ community)
  • TSI and others will have better understanding of the needs of ….
  • TS contribute more to planning and local decision-making
  • Organisations are more connected and understand each other better
  • Organisations are more aware of how to respond to new legislation/ policy
  • Organisations have increased access to different funding

Medium term outcomes

These are common TSI outcomes. You need to say which of these outcomes your short term outcome relates to. It may be that with one strand of work you are contributing to more than one outcome. For example supporting good governance might be essential for every one of these outcomes.

Strategic outcomes

You should set your outcomes within a strategic context.

Specify which NPF outcome and specific indicator this work contributes to.

Where you are working specifically with social enterprises and volunteering you should link to the relevant strategy (link your contribution to one of the priority areas within the Social Enterprise strategy[8] and action plan[9], or the volunteering outcome framework (once developed). You might want to say how this links to your Local Outcome Improvement Plan (LOIP).


We have identified a few generic assumptions about the TSI approach, but you might want to highlight other assumptions that are more specific to your plan, for example if you want to focus specific support to social enterprises, you might want to identify your assumptions around key target groups or your particular approach.

External Factors

You might also want to identify particular factors that might affect your outcomes, positively and negatively. It may be important to report on these so TSU can understand and respond to factors which support change at a local level.

Developing your plan

We are asking you to use the following headings. If it helps, you can present this as a logic model.

  • What is the need locally
  • What will you do (local activity)
  • What local short term outcomes you want to achieve
  • How this will link to common medium term outcomes
  • How this will links to strategic priorities and outcomes (local and national)
  • Specific assumptions being made about your approach
  • External factors that might affect your outcomes

Your plan will be used as a basis for dialogue about funding.


Your plan will also be used as a basis for:

Light touch monitoring of progress against your planned activities. TSU will ask you for a short report at 6 months. You might also have meetings or conversations with TSU, especially if you want to make major changes.

An annual outcome report. This should be based on the template at the back of this document. You will be asked

  • What we expected to do - your original plan
  • What we actually did - list activities, for who
  • What difference we actually made – with evidence
  • Challenges and changes -anything that you have found helpful in achieving your outcomes and any barriers
  • Learning for the future -anything that you have learnt about how to do your work and unexpected outcomes

The template is flexible, you may want to take each outcome and show the difference you made, challenges and changes, showcase learning. Or you may want to evidence each outcome, but talk in more general terms about challenges and learning in relation to strands of work. It really depends upon what you have to say and what you have learnt. We do suggest that you keep the report short (no more than one side per outcome or strand of work).

The report will be used by TSU to

  • Provide assurance that you are making a difference with Scottish Government money
  • identify common issues and collate evidence to feed to other government departments
  • better understand how change happens at a local level
  • identify and find ways of sharing good practice

It will be easier to highlight issues and learning if reports are short. Further evidence/ discussions can be sought if needed.

TSU are also happy to accept a report that covers all of your work, as long as you can identify TSU funded activities.


Email: Robert Mitchell