Blog Post

April 9, 2024

Measuring the Impact of Digital Projects: Practical Steps for Public Sector Teams

Today, PUBLIC is excited to launch our new guidebook on evaluating digital projects in the public sector. This guide - which we presented at the UK’s Collecting Better Evidence conference last month - aims to provide a clear, practical set of steps that digital and evaluation teams can take when trying to measure the impacts of their projects. In this article, the guidebook’s authors, Johnny Hugill and Dr. Steffen Triebel explain its context and objectives.

Digital projects are often messy and non-linear. Digital teams are encouraged to test, iterate and change their projects rapidly, working in an agile way. The impacts of digital projects can be hard to predict and measure, and the technology context around them can shift too. All of this means that digital projects can present real challenges for teams evaluating them.

Consequently, digital projects need a distinct set of evaluation tools and approaches to navigate these challenges - but there is not much dedicated guidance for these kinds of projects. Indeed, the particularities of digital projects are still a non-mainstream focus for the evaluation sector, where research into sectors like international development, education and homelessness prevention is much more established.

Our guide aims to build on existing guidance developed for public sector teams, like the Magenta Book, and provides specific advice for teams looking to evaluate their digital and technology projects. In particular, our guide offers a framework for thinking about digital outcomes in a more flexible and fluid way than other types of projects, bringing together agile methods with solid monitoring approaches.

It is intended to be useful for a wide set of stakeholders in the digital and evaluation sectors. This includes digital teams, who may find this guide helpful to better understand how they want to monitor and evaluate the impacts of their digital projects, as well as by evaluation professionals, analysts, researchers and policymakers who may want to design evaluation approaches that are more targeted for digital and technology projects.

PUBLIC has a long-track record of delivering digital and innovation programmes across the UK public sector over the last 7 years, and we have taken this expertise to build a specialist digital evaluation function. Over the past two years, we have worked with teams from DLUHC, the Evaluation Taskforce, Innovate UK, GDS, and DSIT to design and deliver independent evaluations of complex digital projects along the whole project lifecycle.

We have distilled this expertise into a simple, easy-to use guide that we hope can help teams to meet the unique demands of digital programmes.

To find out more, or see how we can help with your evaluation challenges, get in touch with our Director of Commercial, Spend & Impact, Johnny Hugill, at

You can read the full Evaluating Digital Projects Guidebook below:


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Johnny Hugill

Director of Commercial, Spend & Impact

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