This is a note sent to all the funded TSCF projects about the Learning and Sharing Event held on 8th September 2011. The session was facilitated by John Griffiths, Cherri Blissett and John Halliday from Rocket Science with Tracey Mellor from One North East. The presentation used is available here.
Please also do not hesitate to call us on 0191 230 8078 should you want to follow up on any aspect of the event, or the management of the Fund.
The Third Sector Capacity Fund is coming to an end in March 2011. However, some projects and notably all of those from round 4, are finishing before this. The event was intended to foster new links between those delivering the projects and also to start looking at evaluation processes for projects to use both independently and to feed into the overall programme-level evaluation.
Third Sector Capacity Fund projects at the event
In the first half of the event, each project was invited to talk about:
A large number of projects found that they had some common ground and several discussed potential opportunities to offer support or to collaborate. Should you want to follow these up please get in touch with the fund management team.
The second half of the event focused on ‘impact evaluation’. The TSCF programme will be evaluated at a programme level and for this we will need each project to provide either a self assessment or an independent evaluation report of their impact which should also be of use when providing future evidence to funders and other stakeholders of the project’s value.
Rocket Science introduced some approaches and tools that projects might use to help describe and evidence their impact. The presentation has been sent to you as a separate file and is available from Rocket Science if you do not have a copy.
The group was then divided into three break-out groups to discuss the following questions:
Many projects consider that the major challenge of conducting an evaluation was that it is too soon to report whether there have been lasting achievements; also factors outside the projects’ control have had a large effect on their potential impact and need to be taken into account. We are more than happy to provide advice on how to articulate, if not overcome these. A number of tools that might be used by projects to record impact were identified during these break-out discussions, they include:
Almost all projects are collecting data, often using some of the tools alluded to, or their own approaches such as bespoke scorecards. Each project has a unique set of indicators of impact over and above its contribution to the programme level outputs required under the framework of ONE’s regional economic strategy. A few projects suggested that they need to collect more data or update the baselines they have started, but in most cases it is clear that we will be able to access some high quality evaluation data from most, if not all projects.
While the Third Sector Capacity Fund programme is ending in March, there seemed to be enthusiasm from several attendees for further opportunities to network and come together, especially if focussed on finding new opportunities to work in the North East. Do get in touch if think we can help in this respect.
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