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:
- What you do
- Who with or for
- The difference you are making
- 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.
Useful resources to help you capture evidence:
Methods and tools
Change Record Template
This template may help you record what adjustments you have made to how you run your project (even small changes can be significant), why, and what difference this has made.
Capturing casual moments
This method is a simple means for writing down service users’ actual words when staff or volunteers want to record comments in non-formal circumstances.
Capturing casual moments – template
Capturing casual moments template
Using case records
Using case records method sheet shows you how to make use of the information you collect during everyday practice to collect evidence of meeting your outcomes. Useful for: Organisations who
Using contact forms to gather evidence during a call
ESS has developed this resource for those organisations who have recently adapted to remote delivery in light of COVID-19.
Taking stock in a time of change
In a time of rapid change, we have to respond more quickly and learn as we go, changing and adapting our services or approach as needed. It’s helpful to capture key evidence, learning and actions periodically.
Using social media to evaluate other activities
Social media can be a good source for unsolicited feedback that can supplement other evidence. However, it can only be a useful source of evidence if you capture it! This
Using social media to evaluate other activities – Twitter use case study
Social media can be a good source for unsolicited feedback that can supplement other evidence. However, it can only be a useful source of evidence if you capture it! You
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.
Good enough evidence
ESS Deputy Director Diane Kennedy talks you through the TREBL framework which can help you think about ‘good enough’ evidence.
- 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.
Evaluating a helpline Case Study – Measuring the impact of a remote service (Pain Concern)
This case study is about the steps Pain Concern took in order to capture the difference their telephone helpline makes for people living in chronic pain.
Mini-case study: Evaluating and adapting as you go
In this mini-case study, Liz Gibson from Fife Employment Access Trust shares how she has adapted her evaluation in response to the changes her organisation has made to their activities during lockdown.
Mini-case study: Getting your team on board with recording and analysing
In this mini-case study, Joe McConnell from Crossroads Youth & Community Association shares how he has adapted his evaluation in response to the changes his organisation has made to their activities during lockdown.
Mini-case study: Learning from doing things differently
In this mini-case study, Callum Wilkinson from Soil Association Scotland shares how he and his colleagues are learning from evaluation.
Mini-case study: Learning from doing things differently and using social media
In this mini-case study, Margarita Sweeney-Baird from Inclusive Skating shares how she and her colleagues are learning from evaluation.
Mini-case study: Learning from unexpected outcomes
In this mini-case study, Sara McHaffie from Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre shares how she and her colleagues are learning from evaluation.
Mini-case study: Learning from unexpected outcomes
In this mini-case study, Rachel Sutherland from East & Central Sutherland Citizens Advice Bureau shares how she and her colleagues are learning from evaluation.
Mini-case study: Using social media for evaluation
In this mini-case study, Laura Kearney from PLUS shares how she and her colleagues are learning from evaluation.
- Evaluation Support Scotland’s response to COVID-19 pandemic – supporting third sector organisations and funders to learn in a crisis – guest blog written for Policy Scotland
- Evaluation Support Scotland’s response to COVID-19 pandemic – a guest blog for The ALLIANCE
Why Evaluate? Learning from COVID-19 event series
In these difficult times, it’s even more important that evaluation is easy and useful. Following our highly popular “Evaluating in a Time of Change” web event on 12 May we ran a series
How to evaluate asset-based approaches in an asset-based way
This paper sets out 10 principles to think about when evaluating asset-based approaches. It is mostly written for people in third sector or community groups who want to use evaluation
- Our support guides and webinars might give you more ideas.
- Inspiring Impact has new resources to help you evaluate in the crisis here including webinars
- SCVO Coronavirus Third Sector Information Hub has lots of general advice for third sector organisations.
Please adapt any of our tools to meet your own needs – we’d just ask you to reference ESS.