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Our support to third sector organisations

“Since the support we have gone through all of our paperwork… referral forms, questionnaires everything and I think we must have reduced it all by a third….so we have definitely become a lot more efficient and our evaluation is a lot less burdensome now.”  Isabel Montgomery, Deveron Care Concern  

Are there any user friendly evaluation tools that I can use? How do I evaluate a soft outcome I can't count? How do I report to funders? How do I make time for evaluation? If any of this sounds familiar here are some of the ways we can help?  

Browse our “Evaluation Pathway” to find FREE resources, tools and simple support guides.  That might be all you need to get going.

We have evaluation workshops to help third sector organisations get to grips with evaluation and share practical ideas with each other. 

We can provide a small amount of free support by phone or e-mail, for example, to get you started on evaluation or to give short feedback on an evaluation plan or report. 

 

If you need more in depth help we can provide tailored support to your organisation to help you embed evaluation. Tailored support involves one or more meetings of about 2-3 hours between a member of the ESS team and a person or a few people from your organisation. We can provide this support by telephone or skype, if necessary.

Support is tailored to the needs of your organisation and might include (although not all at once!):

  • Write outcomes 
  • Develop theory of change
  • Define indicators
  • Develop appropriate information collection methods
  • Analyse data you have gathered
  • Write reportsDevise an evaluation plan
  • Embed evaluation into your organisation
  • Think about what you want from an "external evaluation".

We normally have to charge you for tailored support to cover our costs. A session costs £552 (including VAT).

A tailored support session helped Youth Borders and its leads members to

“Kick start the process we need and to have logic models in place to help future joint funding bids.  We have since built on the session and are in the process of completing  between the managers two joint logic models around the partnership and young people.  The session has helped clarify our thinking and been an integral part of our forthcoming plans to apply for funding for the next 3 years and we will be working with ESS again to expand the process and learning with the wider YouthBorders’ membership.” (2017) Clare De Bolle, Chief Officer, YouthBorders

Extended tailored support (longer term tailored support)

Some organisations are finding they have good evaluation in place for individual projects but not for the organisation as a whole.  This can make it hard to be consistent, share learning or demonstrate impact as a whole.  We can help!  It usually involves multiple sessions of tailored support with groups of staff from across the organisation to create flexible organisation-wide systems and build staff skills. 

As examples the following are three different types of extended tailored support we have delivered recently: 

Organisation 1 – Developed a logic model, outcomes, indicators and methods to collect evidence

 

Organisation 1 commissioned all three Let’s evaluate! workshops for two teams and 6 full days of tailored support: two days for each team to develop outcomes and a logic model followed by two days with everyone together to focus on setting indicators and developing appropriate methods to collect evidence for their outcomes.

Organisation 2 - Created an evaluation champions’ group to implement an evaluation framework throughout the organisation

 

Organisation 2 formed an evaluation champions’ group of staff and we worked with this group to develop an outcomes and indicators framework. The organisation piloted the framework before implementing it across the whole organisation. We facilitated meetings of the champions’ group throughout this process and started new work with a group of frontline staff to develop in-house training on the outcomes framework to embed the outcome-focused approach.

“Staff said using the framework had improved their care and support… The framework and paperwork is effective if service users transition from one service to another – more seamless.  It fits with risk assessment, really works.  Care Inspectors have given positive feedback.  Managers feel more confident in tendering.” 

Organisation 3 – Developed organisation-wide outcomes, indicators and evidence collection method

 

We ran 5 sessions with frontline staff to develop organisation-wide outcomes, indicators and methods. The following year the organisation asked us to provided 2 further tailored support sessions to support them while they piloted and tweaked their new evidence collection method. We also carried out an analysis of pilot data against their new outcomes on their behalf.

“Without the expert knowledge of ESS we would most likely deviate from the good work done so far and stray from the main objective.”

Please contact us by email or phone 0131 243 2770 to discuss your evaluation needs.

Download extended support flier here.

And also

  • Sometimes a funder will pay us to provide support to their funded organisations. This is called an evaluation support account – perhaps your funder has set up one with us?
  • Deliver Train the Trainer in Evaluation courses training others to deliver evaluation workshops to strengthen the evaluation capacity across the Third Sector.
  • Our case studies will give you an idea about the work we do with third sector organisations (and funders).
  • ESS can’t do an evaluation for you! But we can help you commission an external evaluation
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