We have been reviewing our evaluation offer in the context of the current socio political climate and asking what our 30 years’ experience in the field of evaluation can bring to a turbulent world where the scale and pace of change in policy has placed many organisations in new and challenging territory.
The deficit cutting measures, the localism agenda and the process of decentralisation are acting as a catalyst to begin to re-think how services are being delivered and this in turn means that we have to be innovative in our evaluation methods.
In this environment we are witnessing an increasing drive towards outcomes-based commissioning, accountability and user involvement in public services: commissioners and providers are under pressure to understand their service users, involve them in service delivery and to demonstrate the value and impact of the work they do, shrinking budgets, overall has created a need to deliver ‘more for less’ .What does this mean for our work? It means that our focus is on designing evaluations that through a rigorous approach generate an evidence base and enable our clients to re-design services to better meet the needs of their users and to improve the quality of their work. This exemplified in the politically sensitive context of our work on Prevent, a policy area where we have been working with local authorities through peer review to define meaningful project outcomes while simultaneously strengthening local evaluation capacity. These challenges were explored further when we presented our Prevent evaluation work at this year’s UK Evaluation Society 2012 annual conference in March, the conference theme: Evaluation for Results. Discussions emerged around the implications this has on the evaluation of complex social programmes where outcomes are difficult to measure.
You’ll find more information about our evaluation services in our new brochure and in case studies of our work here.