Our learning priorities learn in the next four years.

In our Strategic Plan 2019-23 we have set out 8 learning priorities about what we want to learn in the next four years. 

Our Strategic Plan 2019 – 23

Read the full version of our Strategic Plan and the Summary is here.

The way we work

  • We are accessible.  We use plain English. We are friendly.  We work in a way that meets the different needs and abilities of people and organisations.
  • We work collaboratively with organisations, combining their expertise with ours to generate evaluation approaches they can own, develop and run with.
  • We use different and creative ways to engage people in evaluation.  We promote a wide range of evaluation tools.
  • We are a centre of expertise on self-evaluation in the third sector and we share what we know.
  • We work in positive partnership with others, sharing our learning and adding value to the expertise of others. We provide effective platforms for evaluation evidence to reach intended (and unintended) audiences.
  • We promote a culture of learning within ESS.  We seek feedback from everyone we work with so we learn from our successes and weaknesses and get better at what we do.
  • ESS is a good place to work.  We support and develop our staff and trustees so they can fulfill their roles and feel valued. 

Service Standards

To ensure we meet these operating values we commit to the following customer care standards:

  • We reply to e-mails or phone messages within five working days.
  • We let you know if we cannot respond to you within that time and we keep you informed of what action we are taking on your behalf.
  • If you phone and we transfer you to another person we will make sure you know who you are going to speak to and why you are being transferred.
  • We ask you if you have any access needs when we work with you and ensure that, as far as possible, we meet them.  This includes running training in accessible venues and providing larger print documents on request.  Please ask us if you want to see our equalities policy.


If you want to complain about any area of our work, please contact Steven Marwick, ESS’s Director.  If Steven does not satisfactorily answer your complaint, or your complaint is about him, please contact our Board of Trustees.  Our convenor is Andrew Fleming.

Image of Steven


Steven Marwick

About Steven

Steven Marwick is the founding Director of Evaluation Support Scotland (ESS).  He has overall responsibility for the strategic and operational management of the organisation.  He reports to the Board of Trustees and manages the staff team.  As well as leading the team to support the third sector to demonstrate the difference it makes, Steven has facilitated the Scotland Funders’ Forum to produce ‘Harmonising Reporting’ good practice (2010) on reporting on funding.  He works with Scottish Government to support the use of third sector evidence for public service reform. He chairs partnerships such as the Scottish Third Sector Research Forum.

Steven’s previous jobs include policy and research posts for the Community Fund lottery fund and for the Government. He is a Trustee of Eczema Outreach Support.  In the past he’s chaired Volunteer Centre Edinburgh, been on the board of Association of Chief Officers of Voluntary Organisations, chaired the What Works Scotland (WWS) Funders group and been a member of the Economic and Social Research Council’s evaluation committee.  Steven relaxes by swimming, running and going to concerts and operas (not all at the same time!).

Image of Andrew Fleming


Andrew Fleming

About Andrew

Andrew Fleming is a retired senior civil servant with experience designing and delivering strategic improvements across a range of public policy areas, including health, tax collection and management, community safety, environment and heritage in a policy, delivery and social research capacity.    With a professional background as a social researcher, he has a strong interest in the role of evaluation in informing good decision making drawn from his experience as both a “producer” and “user” of evidence. He is a member of Lothian NHS Board.

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