The mission of the Raspberry Pi Foundation is to enable young people to realise their full potential through the power of computing and digital technologies. That’s what we say in our 2025 strategy. But how can we be sure we’re succeeding?
In our strategy we also identify one of our values as being ‘focussed on impact’. This means that we are committed to learning from the best available evidence, and to being rigorous and transparent about the difference we’re making.
Like all our values, our focus on impact infuses all of our work, and it is led by a dedicated impact team. This blog outlines four ways in which we put this value into practice in pursuit of our mission.
1. Do the right things
It doesn’t matter how fast you run, if you’re heading in the wrong direction, you’ll never get to your destination. We use data to prioritise our resources where we can make the biggest difference for young people.
For example, we use national statistics from the UK to assess how many of the Code Clubs and CoderDojos we support in the UK run in places where they can reach young people facing educational disadvantage, so that we can adopt an evidence-based approach to better serving these young people.
And we know many of the young people who face the greatest barriers to accessing computing education and developing new skills and confidence live in countries with low- and middle-income economies. That’s why we are building new partnerships in India, Kenya, and South Africa and adapting our resources and programmes for the contexts of educators and learners living there.
2. Measure what matters
We’re really excited that we’ll soon be publishing an updated Theory of Change, which captures how we make an impact. This will be the foundation for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) plans for all of our initiatives, where we specify their goals and set down what kinds of data we will collect to make sure we have the measure of whether the initiatives are succeeding.
Strong M&E is equally important for our established programmes and our new pilot initiatives. Code Club, the worldwide network of free, after-school coding clubs for 9- to 13-year-olds we support, has been growing for more than 10 years. Durham University’s Evidence Centre for Education is currently conducting an independent evaluation of UK-based Code Clubs to help us understand how to better support Code Club volunteers and learners around the world. We ourselves recently evaluated the pilot of a new programme we designed in partnership with Amala Education to deliver a vocational skills course for displaced learners aged 16 to 25 in Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya.
3. Keep getting better
Data is only useful if it’s translated into insights that are acted upon. We use the findings from evaluations to inform the design and continual improvement of all our initiatives.
For example, the evaluation of our pilot vocational skills training in Kakuma refugee camp provided insights that have helped us adapt the programme for a second cohort of young people. The same was true of the M&E insights we gained from our partnership with Mo Schools in Odisha, India, where we have provided training and support to 1075 teachers to establish Code Clubs. Informed by survey data and informal feedback each step of the way, we are now gradually scaling up our support towards launching a more intensive computing and coding programme in 2000 schools in Odisha this year.
Side by side with our M&E results, we also rely on the latest computing education research, conducted at the Foundation, in the Raspberry Pi Computing Education Research Centre at the University of Cambridge, and by academic researchers around the world. Our groundbreaking research programme on gender balance in computing, and our ongoing research on culturally relevant pedagogy, are shaping the way we work to enable all young people to achieve their full potential in computing.
4. Tell people about it
We are proud of the difference we are making. We want everyone to hear about it and feel inspired to get involved in our vital mission for young people. Our annual reviews are packed full of statistics and overviews of the difference we’re making, and we’re creating a growing video series of unique stories from people in the community we support. Watch this space for news about our updated Theory of Change, our next annual review, and more blogs about our impact.
By doing these four things well, we can be confident that we are enabling young people to achieve their potential through the power of computing and digital technologies.
If you share our passion for impact and think our mission is important, why not get involved today? You can: