We announce new partnerships here, and share some evaluation examples, but we rarely share the details of the project we complete. It’s time to rectify this.
Positive Progressions is one of our earliest clients and we are still working together. Positive Progressions is run by Craven College, who are based in Yorkshire and is all about getting families who are far away from the labour market back into work. They are co-financed by the National Lottery Community Fund and the European Social Fund and are a Building Better Opportunities (BBO) project.
As their evaluation provider, in the beginning we worked with them to understand the work they were doing and what happened day to day in their project. We looked at the data they had to collect for funders, and spoke to the staff. The project itself is a 1:1 keyworker support model, which is incredibly flexible. Because staff work so intensively with participants, they get to know them really well. We use that, and get the staff to carry out keyworker assessments.
Overall we have created measurement tools which capture changes in; wellbeing, confidence, resilience and ‘work-readiness’ over time. We chose this list, as these are the aims of the project. We regularly analyse all the data and present it to the wider team at partnership meetings. We can show the project is making an impact. We even can predict when people are nearing the end of their time in the project.
Our numerical information has uncovered unknown issues, for example, that people with disabilities are less likely to cross the final hurdle and get a job. This has helped the project team to focus their time and understanding on supporting disabled participants more.
We have provided bespoke quantitative measurement tools including ‘The Journey Back to Work Road Map’ and the ‘Rose Parker Resilience Scale’ which are very quick and easy for the team to implement and require no additional staff time.
Positive Progressions have consistently been identified as one of the leading examples of good practice in evaluation for all BBO projects across the North of England.
We presented the bespoke findings for this project at a high-profile seminar of good evaluation practice at Newcastle Football Club in May 2019. We were the only project selected to share evaluation good practice!
In September 2019 we were recommissioned to continue to provide their evaluation for the next two years. Working together again, we uncovered what they wanted out of a future evaluation. We decided to continue to use the existing methods and monitor the disability situation and to develop a new arm for evaluation to measure longer term impact. We are currently carrying out a ‘six months later’ impact analysis for this project and as part of that work we are starting to financially proxy the lifetime savings of the project in terms of a public purse.
“The Evaluator has been integral; supporting Craven College to really demonstrate the impact of Positive Progressions to funders both current and future. From the outset they have developed and adapted methods of collecting data and evidencing impact throughout, this has ensured we can really showcase the success of the project but also to help us constantly improve our practice.” Pippa Syers, Community and Projects Manager.
Hopefully, that will have explained a bit more about what an evaluation partnership can look like. As a firm trying to transform evaluation; we are really trying to make sure it enhances our clients work, and helps them to make data-driven-decisions.