Pressure on funding is increasing the pressure on local authorities to undertake evaluations themselves which demonstrate and assess the ‘effectiveness’ of their work.
However, resources are often limited and at the Tavistock Institute we are experiencing a growing demand for guidance and training in self-evaluating skills that we understand is related to this. This works well with one of our key priorities at the Tavistock Institute which is to share our learning with clients and practitioners- including supporting organisations to develop their own research and evaluation capacity.
Over the last four years, the Tavistock Institute has developed a number of sets of guidelines, or toolkits for local authorities in this position, and has now run many training courses in self evaluation skills. Most recently, this has included developing a set of guidelines for CLG on how local authorities can evaluate their local preventing violent extremism (PREVENT) projects and programmes. Following this, the Tavistock Institute was asked to deliver a series of 12 regional training workshops to assist staff in how to put this guidance into practice.
The workshops were aimed at both local authority staff and their partners to give practical advice on how to evaluate PREVENT work locally. Alongside the guidelines is a resource-pack that gives additional information, including where local-authorities can go for evaluation support, evaluation case-studies and examples.
The aim is provide help and guidance for local-authorities in systematically evaluating their local PREVENT work: to provide a clear and practical framework in designing an evaluation appropriate for local circumstances, using logic mapping to understand the links between activities planned and undertaken and the hoped for and expected impacts and outcomes ; setting criteria for measuring success; and systematically collecting data to evidence what is working well and what needs improvement within local PREVENT initiatives.
The training takes participants step-by-step through how to go about a doing a local evaluation. This includes deciding why to evaluate your work, the purpose and scope of what to cover, designing evaluation questions, how to assess success, different methods to collect data, how to analysis your results and how to share these with wider audiences.
To read the guidelines on Evaluating Local PREVENT Projects and Programmes, please visit the Communities and Local Government website: Click Here.
The evaluation training workshops can be tailored to any number of settings and Tavistock Institute staff can further support individuals and teams with follow-on training or advice. We have already been active in the heath sector and with a children’s centre, and other multi-agency teams to develop evaluation capacity. The workshop has also been successfully adapted for the LGID Planning Advisory Service.