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Smart Play Network

Smart Play Network (SPN) is the national organisation supporting play services and play providers in Scotland.

ESS provided tailored support shortly after the Smart Play Network was set up in 2011, and again in 2023 when CEO Lesley Fox felt it was time for an evaluation refresh for her bigger team.

  • Review evaluation plans
  • Build staff comfort with evaluation
  • Improve some methods

These sessions were about moving from “good to great”!

ESS principle – used by you
Evaluation support scotland
Aimee Hunt, Manager at smart play network
ESS principle – Involves the people you support

• Created a new logic model for the whole organisation

• Updated the organisational values

• Made changes to how they pull together evaluation for the whole organisation

• Updated training questionnaires and issued a members’ survey

• Created a new evaluation tool for children – Bubbles the teddy bear!


  • This 2023 support was successful because CEO Lesley was clear what she needed and briefed the staff well, so they knew what they were coming to.
  • It was valuable to give people from different teams the chance to understand each other’s roles in the evaluation process.
  • It was important for us to make the support really practical and harness staff practice expertise. Building analysis of existing evaluation data into the session allowed the team to celebrate impact and spot gaps in the data that would be useful to collect in future!
ESS principle – fits the way you do your work

See below for the case-study that this story is based on:

  • Case Study: Smart Play Network

    ESS provided tailored support for this organisation in 2011, and again in 2023 when the CEO felt it was time for an evaluation refresh.