The LEAP approach is widely used in community development and health work and is based on a number of key principles:

  • that planning and evaluation are integrated not separate activities
  • that both are based on participation and partnership working (as such, the LEAP approach is also a valuable partnership development tool which can be used to build and sustain common goals and objectives)that planning should be needs-led (starting with an identified need)
  • that we should be evaluating outcomes rather than outputs (what the impact of our work has been rather than the number of things which we have done)

Practitioners using LEAP in other settings (and greenspace practitioners who used the pilot version of the framework) have noted the following positive attributes of the LEAP approach:

  • it provides a framework for action
  • it captures good practice
  • it boosts the confidence of all those involved
  • it provides an opportunity to sit back, look at and think about what has been achieved
  • it enables effectiveness to be measured – and exposes defects
  •  it is rewarding for staff as it provides evidence of success
  • it allows a convincing case for funding to be made, increasing the chances of obtaining funds
  • it is applicable to work at a local/single project level; at a programme-wide level and at a policy level
  • it supports and empowers communities and encourages community decision making
  • its use in community development and in health makes it easier to develop common agendas between
  • these areas of work and greenspace projects and programme – we share a common LEAP language 

using the framework

greenspace scotland can provide training and support you to use LEAP, and other tools, to plan and evaluate your projects LINKtooutcomesandevaluation

Support, information and resources to help LEAP users is also available from SCDC (Scottish Community Development Centre) and LEAP is available as an on-line tool on