The Health and Social Care ALLIANCE Scotland (The ALLIANCE) is always keen to harness learning and evidence from the Self Management Fund. They want to share what they learn with policy makers and use the learning to inform future funding decisions.
Individual project reports may not all present the same type and level of information, making analysis for this purpose challenging and time consuming. It can also result in an incomplete picture. The ALLIANCE decided to try out Learning Events as an alternative to full written reports (with activity and financial information submitted as normal). Funded projects were consulted and were willing to participate.
The ALLIANCE brought all 28 funded projects together for 3 learning events throughout 2019, facilitated by Evaluation Support Scotland.
In the run-up to each event ESS asked projects to complete a short anonymous online questionnaire. The responses were used to generate themes for the learning days. The events had a strong peer-learning focus and allowed projects to develop and share learning about self-management and Health and Social Care Integration.
After each event ESS wrote a report containing thematic analysis of the learning gathered from funded projects, using delegates’ own words where possible. Reports were designed to be attractive to read, for example using infographics. Projects had the opportunity to review and comment on each report to check that it represented their experience of the day.
Feedback from learning event participants:
‘I enjoyed the informal / creative process. Much more appealing than one final report.’
‘Growth enhancing (rather than soul destroying).’
‘A creative approach to impactful evaluation! Refreshing!’
‘It’s a two-way street which leads to honesty & transparency.’
‘Sometimes you are sparked by something someone else has said / written that resonates but maybe wouldn’t have been in the report.’
Feedback from The ALLIANCE also shows that this way of working has many positive aspects for them as a funder and policy influencer:
‘This learning can inform our development work on health & social care integration. Views gathered from this round of funded projects will directly inform the design of the next round.’Lara Murray, Fund Manager, The ALLIANCE
The ALLIANCE plans to launch the event reports at their conference in autumn 2020 and has commissioned ESS to support the next round of funded projects to share their learning in a similar way.
To find out more, check out the resource below where Lara Murray (Fund Manager with The ALLIANCE) and Sarah Cleary (Health and Employability Service Manager, Volunteer Edinburgh) share their experiences of working in this innovative way, including the benefits and the surprises.
How was it for you? Learning events instead of written reports
Lara Murray (Fund Manager, Health and Social Care ALLIANCE Scotland) and Sarah Cleary (Health and Employability Service Manager, Volunteer Edinburgh)