Harmonising Indicators project (HIP)
Citizens Advice working together with their statutory funders to make monitoring and evaluation of advice more rational and more useful
HIP is a follow up programme from Measuring Outcomes from Citizens Advice. The work was initiated by Parkhead CAB and is funded by Citizens Advice Scotland Development Committee. Work will take place between May 2016 and March 2017.
As a learning set we are exploring how we can develop a more proportionate and useful monitoring and reporting system for bureaux (CABx)
- identifying a more rational set of indicators that CABx can offer to funders
- seeing what scope there is for harmonising reporting requirements amongst different funders
- feeding into developments for a better case management system.
The learning set involves representatives from CABx, Citizens Advice Scotland, Scottish Legal Aid Board, Scottish Government and The Improvement Service.
Subject to agreement, we will produce a
- Set of clearly defined indicators within a short document of how to use them
- A case study highlighting the story of how we worked together and what we learnt
- A short evaluation report.
We have met twice and have
- Explored the values and principles behind good evaluation
- Asked what questions or concerns each party wants to address through monitoring CABx
- Considered client profile/ demographic information and identified core information and that is required for all parties
- Began to explore how we count clients, contacts, legal issues and level of workload.
We will be moving onto look at outcomes indicators.
Do you agree with us?
We would like to know what you think about our general principles of good evaluation and about our thoughts on what demographical data would be useful for CABx to collect.
You can do this by commenting on the Knowledge Hub here. You can also see the slides and listen to Ginny Jackson (Parkhead CAB) and Diane Kennedy (Evaluation Support Scotland) Harmonising Indicators Project Webinar Recording, in Harmonising Indicators Project (HIP). Please note you will need to register for the Knowledge Hub and join the Harmonising Indicator Project group. It’s easy to register and it also means that you will see comments left by others.
Or you can send your comments directly to Diane Kennedy.
Between June 2014 and March 2015 ESS ran a learning set of CAB practitioners aiming to:
- Explain: developing a collective model of the sector (in this case the advice sector) and showing links to national and local outcomes
- Measure: developing methods to collect information about outcomes
- Prove: bringing together research and practice based evidence to test models of provision (policy and practice)
As a result we developed the Measuring Outcomes from Citizens Advice pack.
This pack was shared with bureaux through regional days in September and launched at a conference for over 250 people, organised by The Improvement Service, Scottish Government and Scottish Legal Aid Board and CAS/ CABx in October and funded by the Scottish Government.
During this process we identified
- That different funders require bureaux to measure clients, cases and advice given in different ways leading to multiple recording of some data for different funders.
- Client profiling and activity reporting is very time consuming, leaving less time for evaluating outcomes or using data to improve services.
- It would be helpful to identify what data is most essential to bureaux, funders and commissioners for accountability and to improve service provision and reach.
- There seems to be some discrepancies between advice agencies in how they define and count a case, record the level of work and results.
- This may be making it difficult for funders and commissioners to understand the overall reach and impact of their funding and to compare like with like.
At the conference there was support across all the sectors for reviewing systems of measurement to ensure greater consistency across reporting requirements, to make better use of qualitative data and to put a greater emphasis on soft outcomes.
This work fits well with other initiatives to improve evaluation and performance monitoring, for example:
Debt advice evaluation framework: The Money Advice Service
Scottish Legal Aid Board and the Improvement Service are considering the outcomes they want advice services to report on.
For more information
contact Diane Kennedy