Measuring Impact

National CRED Indicators

The national Strategic Directions for Extension Community Resource and Economic Development (March 2009) indicated five strategic imperatives for a strong and sustainable CRED program. These included speaking with a more unified voice across the country, improving marketing based on outcome measures to increase financial and political support, developing and enhancing partnerships, improving program development and delivery, and supporting evaluation and research for CRED programs to strengthen the foundations upon which our Extension work is based.

Nationally, state Extension directors and administrators are recognizing the need for statewide and national program impact that tell the story to potential funders and key stakeholders while contributing to development and revision of successful and sustainable programming.

The National CRED Indicators work is being embraced by all four regions of the nation, recognizing the need for sharing compelling stories about the collective impacts of our community and economic development work, at local, state, regional and national levels.

The early outcomes of these on-going (and highly sustainable) efforts have:

  • Catalyzed CRED efforts across the four regions and the 1890s. The work has already led to the Northeast Region's adoption of indicators that draw from the North Central and Southern Regions' work. And Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development is implementing its first-ever CRED Indicators Fellowship this coming summer. Northeast work group members plan to facilitate this individual supporting the effort in the region as well as contribute to the overall effort. In the Southern Region, the Southern Rural Development Center and the state program leaders have moved forward with the first regional report to be completed by August 2014.
  • Created a learning community for each region to share ideas and gain from other regions.
  • Advanced the conversation about what indicators are collectable now and what might be an eventual goal.
  • Developed a source of national technical assistance in collecting relevant data.
  • Contributed to the understanding of the importance of having the conversation at all levels of the system within a state—local educator, regional and state specialists, state leadership—and across states as well as nationally.
  • Increased the capacity for national conversations and collaboration as the land grant system brings new people into CRED work, creating sustainability of efforts.
  • Increased understanding of impact among state and national stakeholders through sharing of the amalgamated results from specific regions.