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:

  1. What you do
  2. Who with or for
  3. The difference you are making
  4. What you’re learning 

What ESS is doing to support you: 

We have moved our face to face workshops and events online!

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. 

We deliver workshops

We regularly deliver ‘starter’ workshops (under our Let’s Evaluate! programme) and topic specific workshops throughout the year.

We provide tailored support

ESS provides more in-depth evaluation support tailored to your organisation’s needs.

Useful resources to help you capture evidence: 

Methods and tools


  • Evaluating in a time of change – webinar

    This practical peer learning webinar is specifically targeted to third sector organisations or teams who are continuing to deliver during the Covid-19 pandemic and are facing change or challenges to their evaluation.

  • 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.

Case studies



Still stitching…

ESS Depute Director Diane Kennedy talks about how our A Stitch in Time? series of resources can be helpful to third sector organisations in Covid-19 times A few years ago,


Focus on staying connected

ESS Depute Director Diane Kennedy writes about our A Sitch in Time resources that can help organisations evaluating services that aim to connect people. Iriss has recently produced an evidence review in

Other Resources

Please adapt any of our tools to meet your own needs – we’d just ask you to reference ESS. 

Looking for support from us?

We’re here to help! Contact us for help and advice.