Evaluation Support Scotland (ESS) works with third sector organisations and funders so that they can measure and report on their impact 
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Autumn Newsletter 2019


In this issue
Our story of 2018/19
Upcoming workshops and events
Were we wrong to talk about outcomes?
We're still Thriving
Funders news and resources
Getting stuck with evaluation?
NEW resources from ESS and others
Oldie but Goldie ESS resource

Our story 2018/19

                          ESS Activities and Impact report 2018/19
Hot of the press is our Activities and Impact Report 2018/19 Read it here

At ESS we are known to be big on planning so no secrets are being let out of the bag with our theme this year - Plan to evaluate - Evaluate to plan. You'll find lots of examples of our work supporting third sector organisations and funders to plan to evaluate and use their learning to improve services and influence others. Highlights are the case studies on pages 6, 7 and 12, and the workshops and resources that were new in 2018/19. 

Our report was launched at our AGM on Monday 23rd September when we said a big thank you and farewell to our Convenor -  Professor Stephen Platt, Treasurer -  Lindsay Robertson, and other trustees Susan Brown (resigned in June), Linda Rodgers and Stephanie Rose. We welcomed 3 new trustees - Kerry Allan, Maxine Dinnes, and Alex Johnson.

Previously, in July, we said goodbye and thank you to
Louise Bowen, our Knowledge and Networks Officer who has worked for the last two years organising many Inspiring Impact events and Third Sector Research Forum meetings, as well, as the last conference. (Louise is in the photograph at the top of the page taken at an Inspiring Impact event [far left]).

ESS Activities and Impact Report 2018/19

Upcoming workshops and events

Getting started: Outcomes and Indicators
29 October 2019, Edinburgh
23 January 2020, Dundee
Make to measure: Evaluation Methods and Plans
12 November 2019, Edinburgh
6 February 2020, Dundee
Telling my story: Analysing and Reporting on Outcomes
26 November 2019, Edinburgh
20 February 2020, Dundee

Getting the best from your grantholders (NB This workshop is for funding officers)
7 November 2019, Glasgow
Inspiring Impact event - Help! I've got stuck with my evaluation 
3 December 2019, Edinburgh
Webinar: Help! I've got stuck with my evaluation - tactics to get unstuck
18 November 2019, 10am
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The Outcomes Approach - does it meet our expectation?

                          Were we wrong to talk about outcomes?
We love outcomes at ESS but we also like a good debate! Steven Marwick poses some interesting questions and puts forward an argument for changing the 'verb' we use with outcomes - 'delivering' is out but 'achieving' is in! Read Steven's blog 'Were we wrong to talk about outcomes?' and enter the debate. Let us know if you agree or have a different point of view: email Steven 


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We're still Thriving

Thrive participantsAgile and ESS have been given the go-ahead to roll out the Thrive Learning Programme which we developed and piloted earlier this year. The programme supports organisations to use physical activity/sport to achieve outcomes. It is the product of several years' work and consultation with the sector.  
There are 3 modules: Plan - Do - Review which help participants think through how to work in a truly person-centred way. Each module includes an online self-assessment, a full training day and a reflective practice exercise followed by an online discussion to help embed the learning. Participants also receive access to many templates and tools to support their work. The programme will be free of charge to the sector and we plan to deliver 7 rounds over the next year.  
In the first instance this work is being funded through the Changing Lives Through Sport and Physical Activity programme, a partnership between Scottish Government, Spirit of 2012, The Robertson Trust and sportscotland.

For more information... 

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Funders news and resources

                       National Performance Framework 2019
National Performance Framework from Scottish Government

A new National Performance Framework (NPF) was launched in June 2018. It sets out a vision for national wellbeing in Scotland and measures achievement in relation to this. Evaluation Support Scotland (ESS) and the Scottish Government Outcomes and Sustainable Goals Team and Third Sector Unit ran a short session in June 2019 for third sector organisations to explore what the NPF means for the third sector.   

Click here for the event report 

Corra Foundation
NPC has published A framework for Place-based Funding which includes information and case studies from Corra Foundation People in Place programme. 
The Robertson Trust
As part of The Robertson Trust Building Capacity blog channel, our Training Officer Grace Robertson has written a blog about self-evaluation. Read the blog here

To accompany the blog, Grace has created an infographic of the messages in the blog - Tips on how to plan to do self-evaluation. Download your copy here
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Getting stuck with evaluation?

Third sector organisations sometimes tell us they've got stuck with their evaluation. This can happen at any stage in the evaluation pathway - at the very beginning setting outcomes and indicators or later on when analysing the data. To help we have planned a webinar and a learning event. Both are free so sign up quickly to book your place:

Help! I've got stuck with my evaluation - tactics to get unstuck
Monday 18 November 2019 at 10am

More information and to book click here

Inspiring Impact learning event: Help! I've got stuck with my evaluation
Tuesday 3 December 2019 in Edinburgh
More information and to book click here

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New resources from ESS and others

Blogs Webinar and videos Infographic Tool Case studies Reports Webpages Third Sector Research Forum
Do you have any feedback on our resources or website?
We often get feedback about our resources being useful but we would really like to know how you use our resources, especially our publications. Please email comments about the website and our publications to Jane Marryat. 
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Oldie but Goldie resource 

                     Waving hands
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 to improve their practice and report to others but it may also be of interest to funders and policy-makers.   

The Principles :

  1. Involve people in evaluation proportionately
  2. Gather evidence where people actually are
  3. Keep it simple – Don’t treat communities like a laboratory  
  4. More words and stories than numbers
  5. Hold the outcomes lightly
  6. Be open to the unintended/unknown 
  7. Seek different versions of the ‘truth’
  8. Build reflection into everyday
  9. Respond to different learning styles
  10. Don’t be precious about ‘need’
Click here to download your copy
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