Life in Covid-19 times is not easy for anyone. For many third sector organisations you’ll be finding ways to reach your service users and provide your services users in different ways - at a distance. At the same time you may be concerned about what this will mean for your funding and for reporting to your funder, as you are busy making radical changes to your service and keeping yourself safe.
You may also be thinking “Is this really a time to worry about measurement?” In fact, evaluation – simple evaluation – is crucial. As we all deliver services virtually, help more or new beneficiaries, or meet new needs arising from the pandemic, we all need to check we are doing the right things and reaching the people who need us.
ESS Top tips for now
- Keep evaluation simple
- Find successes to celebrate to keep us positive in tough times
- Capture evidence now for reporting later
- Record learning now that we can use in future
- Find quick and easy ways to record:
- What you do
- Who with or for
- The difference you are making
- What you’re learning
Useful resources to help you capture evidence:
Methods and tools
- Our change record might help you record the changes you are making to your services, or the changes in beneficiaries’ needs.
- Our capturing casual moments method sheet might help you jot down a few words beneficiaries give you at the end of a phone call.
- Using case records - This method sheet shows you how to make use of the information you collect during everyday practice to collect evidence of meeting your outcomes.
- Using contact forms to gather evidence during a call
- NEW Method sheet: Taking stock in time of change
- NEW Method sheet: Using social media to evaluate other activities
- Webinar Evaluating in a time of change
- Webinar Learning from Evaluation - Recording of webinar/interview with ESS Director Steven Marwick about using data and learning to inform the future. Event ran by Corra foundation and Wren and Greyhound.
- Pain Concern case study about measuring the impact of a remote service
- NEW Mini-case study: Evaluating and adapting as you go ( Fife Employment Access Trust)
- NEW Mini-case study: Getting your team on board with recording and analysing (Crossroads Youth & Community Association)
- NEW Mini-case study: Learning from doing things differently (Soil Association Scotland)
- NEW Mini-case study: Learning from doing things differently and using social media (Inclusive Skating)
- NEW Mini-case study: Learning from unexpected outcomes (East & Central Sutherland Citizens Advice Bureau)
- NEW Mini-case study: Learning from unexpected outcomes (Amina Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre)
- NEW Mini-case study: Using social media for evaluation (PLUS)
- COVID-19 has zoomed many of us on a huge learning curve! How do we deliver our services and evidence our impact in our ‘new normal’?
- Evaluation Support Scotland's response to COVID-19 pandemic - supporting third sector organisations and funders to learn in a crisis - guest blog written for Policy Scotland
- Still stitching... - Links to ESS 'A Stitch in Time' resources that identified outcomes for evaluating wellbeing and quality of life for older people which can be adapted to the current crisis
- Focus on staying connected - Links to 'A Stitch in Time' resources that can help you identify outcomes and indicators for services that help people stay connected
- Patchwork of evidence - Questions to plan for your ‘new' normal
- NEW Evaluation Support Scotland's response to COVID-19 pandemic - a guest blog for The ALLIANCE
- NEW Why Evaluate? learning from COVID-19 event series - Key messages from our June 2020 peer-learning event series about why we need to keep up with simple evaluation in tough times
- How to evaluate asset-based approaches in an asset-based way
- Our support guides and webinars might give you ideas.
- Inspiring Impact has new resources to help you evaluate in the crisis here including webinars
Please adapt any of our tools to meet your own needs (we'd just ask you to reference ESS - thank you).
SCVO Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub has lots of general advice for third sector organisations.
What ESS is doing to support you:
We have moved our face to face workshops and events online! See links below for more information:
- Let's Evaluate! programme
- Tailored evaluation support via Zoom In these challenging times it’s even more important for evaluation to be simple and useful. Organisations we are working with tell us they need evaluation to ensure their new ways of delivering services are working for service users, to celebrate successes and to gather learning for the “new future”. Funders are being flexible but will obviously still want an end of year report. If any of that resonates please get in touch to arrange Zoom support. Your funder may be able to pay or we will charge at our daily rate and part day rates are possible.
This method is a simple means for writing down service users’ actual words.
A mini-case study from Amina on learning from evaluation during lockdown.
A mini-case study from East & Central Sutherland CAB on learning from evaluation during lockdown.
A mini-case study from Inclusive Skating on learning from evaluation during lockdown.
A mini-case study from Soil Association Scotland on learning from evaluation during lockdown.
A mini-case study from Crossroads Youth & Community Association on learning from evaluation during lockdown.
A mini-case study from Fife Employment Access Trust on learning from evaluation during lockdown.
This infographic captures some of our learning from 'Why Evaluate?' which talks about evaluation in challenging times.
Webinar: 'Evaluating in a time of change' took place on 12 May 2020
How to evaluate asset-based approaches in an asset-based way - Principles from Evaluation Support Scotland. This paper sets out 10 ...
Social media can be a good source for unsolicited feedback that can supplement other evidence.
In a time of rapid change, we have to respond more quickly and learn as we go.
Pain Concern on the steps they took in order to capture the difference their telephone helpline makes for people living ...
ESS has developed this resource for those organisations who have recently adapted their service in light of COVID-19.
This method sheet shows you how to make use of the information you collect during everyday practice.
This tool has been designed to record changes you make to how you run your project as you go along.
A mini-case study from PLUS on learning from evaluation during lockdown.
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