Find information about general impact measurement practices and how to put Impact Navigator’s Indicators into place.

Whether you’re a research novice or a pro, let’s dig into the technical details of applying Impact Navigator’s methodology to your work.

Impact Navigator draws from the social science research framework called Positive Youth Development (PYD). Using a unique combination of PYD and new crowdsourced information from Headstream’s research project Digital Delta, Impact Navigator has curated the most applicable and impactful tools to observe, measure, and document how your innovation affects young people.

What to measure
Impact Navigator’s impact indicators (Indicators) are a series of self-reported survey questionnaires that measure 15 critical areas of wellbeing in PYD:

Download the complete framework here.

Finding the impact goals and relevant Indicators that match your mission is the first step to advancing your measurement journey. 

Now let’s dig into the details of applying Impact Navigator’s methodology to your work.

How to measure
Each Indicator’s scale can be incorporated into the system you are currently using to:

You can ask young people to respond to each scale item (or survey question) based on the Likert Scale provided. The scores from these scales can be calculated in a few ways:

We generally recommend administering all scale items in a bundle to maintain reliability and validity.

When to measure
By asking users to complete the Indicator scale questions at repeated intervals you can measure the impact of your product on targeted outcomes over time. We recommend measuring at the following points in time:

Why measure in this way?
Remember that impact measurement is not only to find “good” news or data that validates your original hypothesis. Impact measurement can help you determine ways you can reinforce and develop your product, and can serve as a feedback mechanism regarding how your product contributes to any changes (positive, neutral, negative).

If your users demonstrate a positive change in their scores on the indicator scales, you can:

If your users demonstrate a neutral or negative trend in their answers, you can:

There are numerous benefits of using an evidence-based outcome measure, like:


Impact Navigator is limited in what it can offer you, especially during beta testing, so it presents a few risks that we want to support you with. Please reach out to us to discuss these risks in depth!


As with all of our materials, we welcome your feedback and collaboration on improving future iterations of this guide! We hope you found this useful.

About Impact Navigator’s Positive Youth Development Methodology (FAQs)

Where did these measures come from?
The measures, or instruments that are comprised of scale items (survey questions), came from research studies within positive youth development (PYD) research. Impact Navigator selected PYD because it:

How are these different from psychological and/or clinical health measures like the PHQ-9 for depression? 
PYD constructs and their measures are rooted in social science and are often used by social workers and social work researchers. Compared to psychological or clinical health measures, these measures aim to comprehensively understand adolescents’ experiences and the ways research has connected that to their overall healthy development. Impact Navigator views these PYD constructs as “upstream” effects that are known to have positive implications for mental health and wellbeing. As such, they don’t use  biological health and psychological measures to assess changes in young people’s diagnoses or health events, which require academic and ethical safeguards that are best met in a clinical research setting rather than the DIY entrepreneurial environment most Impact Navigator users operate in.

How does this help me understand the effects of my work on users’ mental health?
PYD is a strengths-based model designed to consider adolescents’ developmental plasticity, internal developmental assets like psychological competence, and external developmental assets like community influence. As such, Impact Navigator sees that measuring PYD effects could position innovators well to draw strong correlations to improvements in overall wellbeing. Impact Navigator is currently assessing ways to build in additional mental health constructs to its operating framework in future expansions.

We are excited for you to help us test this new tool.

Thank you so much for testing this new tool with us during Impact Navigator’s pilot phase.

We built this because we know youth wellbeing startups care deeply about creating more positive, safe experiences for young people. We work every day with entrepreneurs building education, health, and social technologies to make the internet a more beautiful place to grow up. But how can we take the next step beyond that commitment, towards implementable practices that tell us if our innovations are having the effects we desire?

That’s where Impact Navigator comes in. This novel framework will help guide you from your value propositions to your adolescent development outcome goals in ways you can observe, track, measure, and ultimately use as meaningful performance insights.

We know this can be complicated work. So wherever you are on your impact measurement journey, you might have some questions about how to use this device, so we’ve provided more information in the How-To Guide.

As always, reach out to us with your additional questions through the site’s feedback button or directly to We invite your ideas, revisions, requests, and partnership to help build the next iteration of Impact Navigator!