Thursday, 6 September 2018

The Evaluator working with In-Situ

The Evaluator has won another new contract and is pleased to announce a new partnership with Artist-led National Portfolio Organisation (Arts Council NPO) In-Situ.

In-Situ was founded by Directors Paul Hartley, Kerry Morrison and William Titley.  It was inspired by a desire to help bring art into the colourful existing cultures in Pendle, Lancashire.  Founded in 2011, In-Situ has created many artworks; events; residency opportunities; and collaborative projects alongside the community.

In-Situ is an organisation committed to 'embedded' practice, working closely with communities over many months and years. The Evaluator is pleased to be working with them and a PHD Student too, to try and come up with a benchmark - a way to measure changing thought processes towards the arts.

It's an exciting time for the organisation - as it moves into a new building and has it's own space to work with. Director, Paul Hartley showed Kirsty Rose Parker, Director of The Evaluator around the new almost-completed building...

Kirsty Rose Parker and Paul Hartley

Pendle Hill, as seen from the car park

Inside the new offices

Original beams have been salvaged for the double height performance space

You can see more about In-Situ here

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Announcing a new project; developing measurable environmental policies

The Evaluator has won another contract; to develop a measureable - and auditable environmental sustainability project as part of the Big Lottery and ESF co-financed Building Better Opportunities national programme.

Recent guidance issued in May 2018 states that;

"The ESF England Operational Programme explains that the objectives of the European Social Fund programme will be pursued in line with the principle of sustainable development, including the aim of preserving and improving the quality of the environment as well as the need to prepare for expected changes to the environment and climate. Sustainable development in the European Social Fund Programme has an environmental focus – to help provide some balance to the European Social Fund’s strong social and economic focus (its main mission)."

The Evaluator is helping Positive Progressions, the North Yorkshire BBO project to write a measurable action plan for it's environmental impact - which can be measured at audit. North Yorkshire is a large rural county and consequently does not have great public transport links. The team delivering the project are part of a much larger office and so traditional measures of public transport usage and electricity bills don't really suit.

The Evaluator is identifying clear and meaningful ways to measure current environmental impact and identifying easy-to-put-into-use ways to minimise this impact. A meaningful and effective policy which shall be monitored quarterly, will soon be created.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Festival at-a-glance Evaluation

The Evaluator has recently produced an at-a-glance summary of a festival evaluation. There is a full report which sits behind this infographic but here is all the main points in just three pages...

Producing infographics like this is our USP. Any evaluation with The Evaluator includes one of these - in your choice of colours, fonts, and shapes too.

If you need any evaluation, or just want a coffee and a chat, give us a call on 07837 896 698 or email

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Evaluating an individuals journey back to work

The Evaluator is currently evaluating a project which has getting people back into work as an aim. Many projects do. The individuals in this project are actually quite far away from the labour market though. They are classed as 'economically inactive' not 'unemployed' in the main and have a number of barriers to starting work.

This project thought, and we at The Evaluator agreed, that an individual may make a lot of changes within the project, although not actually get a job. This should not mean that the impact of the project work can't be counted.

The Evaluator has written a work-readiness road map. A graphic which shows all the steps an individual may need to take to get back to work. It might not be a straightforward route, people may jump up and down a bit, but on the whole - this is the journey back to work for people who are a long way away from the labour market.

This is a really simple evaluation tool to use. This particular project is based on an intensive support model where participants have 1:1 support. Every three months, the keyworker will tick a box to show where the participant is on the journey. That's it - one tick! 

Evaluation with The Evaluator is easy, we aim to make sure our materials are simple and quick and then we do the hard work. This project can show that on average - people start the project thinking they 'have ideas about the job they way' and seven months in - they have 'attended work related training or developing skills in other ways'. The project staff are now using this graphics with participants to show how far they have come too. 

With clever thinking, proper research, and a dash of The Evaluator creativity, we can now show that although they might not have a job yet, the project has made great impact in people's readiness to work. 

Thursday, 14 June 2018

Directors Blog: Why starting evaluation at the beginning of a project can be an advantage...

Because of the nature of the term evaluation, people often think this comes in at the end of projects. Many projects do work that way, and The Evaluator is happy to work this way if required, though getting an evaluator in at the beginning can be a huge advantage to your project.

Why is that?

One: Less work for you...

Using an evaluator at the beginning can save you a lot of work - as an evaluation company,  The Evaluator would write all the materials for you so you simply have to hand them over, or email them to your clients. This stops you worrying whether you are collecting the right material and saves you time as you don't have to go back and fill in the gaps.

Two: Can often show more impact...

Usually participants experience change through voluntary and not for profit projects, whether those are changes in circumstances, understanding, health, or emotions. Whatever your project is trying to achieve, measuring impact at the beginning helps to show the true amount of change.

Three: You can have answers halfway through a project...

You might be part of a wider project or a subcontractor to a larger team, and sometimes some of those teams do not manage to get started or don't deliver the numbers they thought they would. If your project can demonstrate impact earlier than everyone else, your project stands out and can become an attractive proposition for further investment.

Four: You can adapt your project to be more successful...

Often projects have outcomes that are unexpected and wonderful! Or a challenge. If you know early on what activity is really working and what leaves a little to be desired, you can change your activity and end up with a much more successful project.

The Evaluator is more than happy to discuss these ideas in person or by phone. If you think you might need some help with evaluation, please do contact us on 07837 896 698 or email me at

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

The Evaluator working with Jazz North

The Evaluator is pleased to announce a new partnership with Jazz North. The Evaluator will be evaluating the Arts Council Funded project 'northern line', assessing the impact on musicians and promoters of this artist development project. 

More details about the programme can be found at

Thursday, 8 March 2018

Directors Blog: How to measure Isolation?

Anecdotally, we know that the world is getting lonelier, we suspect more people are lonely that the world knows about. It could be a huge issue in the future, and many charities are working hard to combat loneliness, at all ages.

How can we measure loneliness? People don't think of themselves as 56% lonely, but The Evaluator specialises in translating hard to measure things into numbers.

When asked to measure loneliness, The Evaluator has designed a scale which can be used as a standalone, but is particularly effective as a start and finish tool, where change can be measured.

Participants answer whether they agree or disagree with the following statements:

  • I get out of the house as much as I want to
  • I keep in touch with friends and family
  • I am not lonely
  • There is always someone I can talk to about my day to day problems
  • There are many people I can trust completely
  • I am content with my friendships and relationships
  • My physical health is good
  • I am content with my employment status

Assigning each answer a number, means we can measure how lonely a person is, at one moment in time. We can ask them again and track their movements. We can find out what happened to make them more lonely, and what happened in their lives to become less lonely.

We can show that socialising and low impact projects can actually make a massive difference, and show that numerically.