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Patchwork of evidence – Questions to plan for your ‘new’ normal

As we begin to contemplate the easing of lockdown in Scotland and what phase 2 and 3 will bring in the coming months, we must begin to think about how third sector organisations will make decisions about how our ‘new’ normal services will look like.

While no one wants a global pandemic as a planning tool, we have all been making changes that we can learn from. The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) matrix is a helpful way of thinking about future service planning.  We can use evaluation to identify aspects of our work that we started doing that we want to hold onto and the things we’ve stopped doing that we don’t need to go back to.  It might also reinforce those aspects of delivery that we need to pick up again as lockdown eases. Some additional questions that help us decide what goes where are:

  • Is our new way of working meeting our clients’ needs?
  • Have any clients benefited more from our new ways of working?
  • Have we achieved new/unexpected outcome
  •  Who have we not reached or made a difference to and why?

By gathering evidence now you’ll be preparing to answer the ‘future’ questions. Remember to keep evaluation simple – collect data about what’s working, what’s not working, what changes you are making and what difference are you making. If you can involve service users including, if appropriate, people you’ve started working with since Covid-19, that is likely to strengthen your evidence.

ESS is here to help with your evaluation needs. If you need support, please get in touch and there’s loads of tools and resources on our Covid-19 page here.