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Evaluating Prevention

In the last few years Scottish Government, funders and third sector organisations have been grappling with the idea of evaluating something that hasn’t happened!

“How does a funder fund something not to happen? How does a grant-holder report on what did not take place?!”

We know much of our work in the third sector is about preventing people’s situations from deteriorating but proving that is what we do can be tricky.

In Christie’s recommendations, ‘Prevention’ is proposed as a major factor for public service reform. And therefore the need to focus resources on preventative measures is a key objective to success.

“We must prioritise expenditure on public services which prevent negative outcomes from arising” Commission on the future delivery of public services

From our experience in helping third sector organisations working in a variety of fields we have developed a general guide and some specific resources…

Evaluating prevention resource 

This presentation explains the 5 steps to evaluating prevention.

Evaluating prevention covers definition, and why evaluate prevention, explores challenges and shows our approach with lessons we’ve learnt.

Through our thematic programmes…

Child Sexual Abuse Prevention framework

This is a first draft narrative and logic model about preventing child sexual abuse (CSA). It is written by practitioners for practitioners to explain and evaluate the work to prevent child sexual abuse happening in the first place. The framework is also for funders and policy makers. More informaiton here

Breaking the Pattern: Practitioner Guide is to help groups, services and campaigners measure the impact of their work that challenges and changes attitudes and behaviours to prevent violence against women and girls (VAWG) before it happens. 

Reversing the Trend summary has tips for evaluating prevention in the field of youth workers preventing problem substance use by young people.

Measuring Outcomes Citizens Advice pack is full of ideas to explain, measure and evidence the difference advice makes

A Stitch in Time? – Reshaping Care for Older People includes examples of preventative spend by third sector interface Midlothian Voluntary Action in the Model document and Evaluation which contains a case study about a local lunch club.

Threading the Needle Supporting health and social care commissioners to use third sector evidence to commission outcomes for health and social care.  

The programme’s work in Fife was about helping befriending organisations show the difference befriending makes. More details in From source to the sea – understanding how befriending can help Fife Health & Social Care Partnership address its priorities


The following blogs give specific perspectives on evaluating prevention from people working in third sector, as a funder or academic…

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