Reasons to evaluate your service

A feature sponsored by NFER

Given how important it is 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 research and evaluation into everyday practice. One organisation that offers both bespoke support and resources to support research, evaluation and analysis, is reason. reason is the research, evaluation and analysis collaboration led by Research in Practice, Research in Practice for Adults and the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER).

reason supported Stoke-on-Trent City Council to develop an evaluation strategy which was used to assess the operation and impact of their ‘Making a Difference’ approach to social care provision for parents and children. Stoke wanted to find out what was working well and identify how, if at all, the approach could be further developed in the future.

reason experts liaised with Stoke to devise the research instruments which were used to collect evidence for the evaluation. The evaluation comprised one-to-one interviews with a range of staff and a sample of parents and young people who used the service. Stoke and reason worked collaboratively to interpret and contextualise the evaluation findings.

A Stoke-on-Trent City Council manager said: “We will use the learnings to communicate our journey with the wider workforce that we are moving forward and on track.” Another manager said: “This sets a benchmark for progress and future evaluations.”

For other examples of reason working with clients across the social care, education and health care sectors visit

If you would like to develop a framework for evaluating aspects of your work, as well as demonstrating impact and value of your practice visit or email

reason also offers a range of affordable guides and tools for purchase online to help you understand and carry out your own research and evaluation. To find out more visit

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