Following a process evaluation in 2013, Project Oracle commissioned the Tavistock Institute to carry out an impact evaluation with specific reference to a cohort of arts organisations – Impact Pioneers.
Project Oracle was established in 2011 and aims to develop more and better evidence informed practice in the children and youth sector in London.
They do this through helping community groups, charities and other organisations to develop their capacity in collecting evidence of the impact and effectiveness of their services. Many of these organisations are very small and many typically struggle to evaluate their own work. More specifically, Project Oracle has three main purposes:
- To generate more, and a higher quality, evidence about what works in the children and youth sector in London
- To increase the practical use of evidence by providers, funders and academics, such that it influences the commissioning and design of youth services in line with the evidence
- To share evidence of what works and best practise in the implementation of evidence in order to influence stakeholders across the whole sector
ObjectivesFollowing a process evaluation in 2013, Project Oracle commissioned the Tavistock Institute to carry out an impact evaluation with specific reference to a cohort of arts organisations – Impact Pioneers – with the following objectives:
- To identify whether, and to what extent Project Oracle is having an impact on providers, commissioners and experts in the arts sector;
- To understand the depth and nature of the need for Project Oracle in the current context of the wider ‘what works?’ initiatives and the evidence agenda in the UK and internationally, and what lessons from Project Oracle could be applied to this wider context.
MethodologyThe evaluation includes:
- A project scoping phase, including review and audit of project documentation and data, and strategic level interviews with Project Oracle management and delivery staff;
- A baseline phase, involving the design, delivery and analysis of an online survey aimed at measuring the confidence, skills and experience of staff working in children and youth projects and programmes;
- A delivery phase, as part of which the project team have attended training sessions and events as well as conducted telephone interviews with participants;
- An impact phase, involving a follow-up online survey of providers, as well as case study visits to providers and interviews with other key stakeholders (evaluation experts, funders and commissioners).