Reasons to evaluate your service

A feature sponsored by reason

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Given how important it is now to demonstrate the impact and value of the work carried out by individuals and organisations in the children’s and adults’ sector, many are taking expert advice on how to build it into everyday practice.

One network that provides tools and resources to help carry out evaluations, share learning and offer bespoke support from experts, is reason. reason is the research, evaluation and analysis support network co-led by research in practice, research in practice for adults and the National Foundation for Educational Research.

reason is currently working with Bracknell Forest council to support the evaluation of their Domestic Abuse Perpetrators Programme. A reason researcher ran a workshop with Bracknell Forest staff, to define the overarching aims and objectives of the research project and to draft the research questions to be used for data collection. As part of their collaborative efforts, reason finalised the questions and interviewed a sample of staff involved with the service delivery, perpetrators who had accessed the programme and their partners.

All the interviews and consent to participate were managed by an officer from Bracknell Forest. reason are now discussing with the local authority how they can support the analysis and reporting of the data collected. reason will provide transcriptions of the interviews and an emerging findings paper in the first instance. They will then offer to analyse and report the findings on behalf of Bracknell Forest or offer a workshop to support officers in the local authority to conduct their own analysis and reporting.

Karen Roberts, head of youth offending service, at Bracknell Forest council said: “We were impressed with the way in which reason were able to understand our requirements and this was reflected in the way they developed the specification for this challenging project, which is centred around an emotive area. reason’s researchers were able to strike the difficult balance between meeting our needs as a client and sensitivity towards the people they were interviewing. They have communicated with us professionally at all stages of the process and kept us informed of progress.”

reason has over 50 tools and resources to support service level research, evaluation and analysis including guides on Surveys, Interviews, Customer Consultation and Value for Money Assessments. If you would like reason to help you:

  • demonstrate the impact and value of your work
  • find out from others what works to improve services
  • develop skills and knowledge in evaluation and analysis
  • understand how evaluations work
  • email: ask@reason-network.org.uk or visit www.reason-network.org.uk

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