sports development

sport & physical activity academic resources

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Meta-Evaluation of the Impacts and Legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games

E-mail Print

From the outset the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games  have aimed to deliver a lasting legacy for the UK.  DCMS commissioned a consortium led by consultants Grant Thornton, including Ecorys, Loughborough University and Oxford Economics, to undertake a comprehensive meta-evaluation of the impacts and legacy of the Games.

The meta-evaluation puts together the results of evaluations of individual legacy programmes, projects and initiatives, and uses these along with additional research to evaluate the overall legacy of the Games.  It aims to address overarching questions such as the impact of the Games on the UK economy and on the uptake of sport.

The study will enable Government to understand and demonstrate the long-term impact of the Games to help ensure current and future programmes provide value for money. 

A post Games initial evaluation will be published shortly after the Games, in spring/summer 2013. Prior to this, a number of interim outputs will also be published.  Further research will be commissioned separately to look at the effect of the Games up to around 2020.

Report 1 (June 2011) sets out the scope of the meta-evaluation, research questions and data strategy for each of the four legacy areas and for the overall evaluation.

Report 2 (August 2011) provides a review of the methods that will enable evaluation of impacts across the legacy ambitions, considering the issues and challenges which are expected to arise and how these can be addressed.

Report 3 (January 2012) provides an assessment of the baseline and counterfactual scenarios (i.e. what would have happened without the Games) for the four legacy themes.

The legacy plans focus on the following four areas:

  1. Sport: harnessing the UK's passion for sport to increase grass roots participation and competitive sport and to encourage physical activity;
  2. Economic: exploiting the opportunities for economic growth offered by hosting the Games;
  3. Community Engagement: promoting community engagement and achieving participation across all groups in society through the Games;
  4. East London regeneration: ensuring that the Olympic Park can be developed after the Games as one of the principal drivers of regeneration in East London.

The 'Sport' legacy plans centre on building the UK's passion for sport and encouraging the nation to be more active. Strands of the strategy include increasing competitive sport in schools, boosting participation in grass roots sport, increasing participation in wider physical activity, supporting elite athletes and using the power of the Games to give young people around the world access to sports opportunities. The legacy is being driven by organisations such as the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Sport England, UK Sport, British Olympic Association (BOA) and the British Paralympic Association (BPA).

The 'Economic' legacy plans aim to maximise the opportunities for economic growth generated by hosting the Games. The plans include promoting the UK as a place to invest, increasing UK exports, delivering a lasting tourism legacy, and protecting and creating employment around the UK, particularly high-tech and creative sectors in East London. Driving growth in the Green economy, using the Games to build influential relationships and promoting a positive image of the UK and opportunities for disabled people are also part of the economic legacy plan. Organisations involved in delivering the economic legacy are various, including for example the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA), UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), Greater London Authority (GLA), London Development Agency (LDA), Olympic Park Legacy Company (OPLC), host boroughs , Visit Britain and Visit England.

The 'Community Engagement' legacy plan aims to bring people together around the 2012 Games, empowering communities to deliver activities that are important and have positive impact on their local area. Strands of the strategy include encouraging people to play a more active part in society, for example through volunteering and cultural events, and inspiring the next generation of performers and audiences. Using the Games to enhance the education of children and young people, promoting sustainable living, and using the Games to change attitudes and perceptions around disability are also key elements of the strategy.

The 'East London' regeneration legacy plan is about developing and accelerating regeneration in one of the most deprived areas of the UK. The six host boroughs of Barking and Dagenham, Greenwich, Hackney, Newham, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest are working together to achieve the ambition of convergence – to provide the people living in the area with the same socio-economic chances as the rest of London. The development of the Olympic Park after the Games through investment in venues, infrastructure, utilities and public spaces is at the heart of this legacy theme. New major transport infrastructure in Stratford has already improved the accessibility of the area. Wider legacy investment plans in and around the Olympic Park include the construction of new homes, sport, leisure, education and health facilities, and the creation of a well-managed environment to attract business investment and promote recreational and cultural use. The creation of new job opportunities in the Olympic Park, and wider skills and employment initiatives, are intended to help reduce worklessness.

Cutting across these four legacy areas are 'Sustainability' and 'Disability'. The sustainability vision for the Games is to encourage changes in the way we build, live, play, work, do business and travel, to help us live happy and healthy lives within the resources available. Plans include promotion of the Green economy, encouraging businesses to adopt sustainable practices, and encouraging people to live more sustainable lives and make healthy choices. Initiatives also centre on helping to reduce people's carbon footprint, energy efficiency and sustainable travel choices. It is also envisaged that the construction and staging of the Games will be used to set an example for how major events and construction projects at home and abroad can be more sustainable.

The 'Disability' ambition is to harness the power of the Games to help realise progress towards achieving equality for disabled people. The plans centre on influencing the attitudes and perception of people to change the way they think about disabled people, increasing participation of disabled people in sport and physical activity, and promoting and driving improvements in business, transport and employment opportunities for disabled people.

The disability ambition is part of the wider 'Equality, Inclusion and Diversity' strategy for the 2012 Games. The London 2012 Equality and Diversity Forum, which brings together key Games stakeholders including the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), is working to ensure that all groups are able to benefit from and engage with the 2012 Games. The forum is tasked with supporting, championing and monitoring progress on the equality commitments and objectives for the Games around age, disability, gender, race, ethnicity, faith and sexual orientation.

In order to achieve the above ambitions, there are a large number of programmes, projects and initiatives being delivered by a wide range of organisations.



 editors comments   

Editor's comments - [  The legacy plans of the previous Government centred on the following six areas:

To make the UK a world-leading sporting nation;
To transform the heart of East London;
To inspire a generation of young people;
To make the Olympic Park a blueprint for sustainable living; 
To demonstrate that the UK is a creative, inclusive and welcoming place to live in and to visit, and for business; 
To transform the life experience of disabled people.  ]  Reference this?Cryer, J. (2012). This page title in italics. Retrieved date, from <this page's full URL>

In the text: Cryer (year)


APA reference for this document


Reference :   Grant Thornton, Ecorys, Loughborough University, Oxford Economics. (2012) Meta-Evaluation of the Impacts and Legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. London DCMS


The above reference is in the APA style: See why this is important in our [how to reference] us guide.


Download this document [Use of this document may be limited by © copyright ; by downloading you consent to our terms and conditions ]


Download this file (DCMS_2012_Games_Meta_evaluation_Report_1.pdf)DCMS_2012_Games_Meta_evaluation_Report_1.pdfReport 1: Scope, research questions and data strategy
Download this file (DCMS_2012_Games_Meta_evaluation_Report_2.pdf)DCMS_2012_Games_Meta_evaluation_Report_2.pdfReport 2: Methods (April 2011)
Download this file (2012_Meta_Evaluation_Report_3.pdf)2012_Meta_Evaluation_Report_3.pdfReport 3: Baseline and Counterfactual (Jan 2012)
Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 May 2012 11:36  

Student Zone