Monitoring and Evaluation Services
Monitoring and evaluation are important tools to help us understand how policies, projects or services are being implemented and to measure how effective and impactful they are. The results can be used for a number of purposes such as:
- To satisfy the requirements of a funder – i.e. to show how their money has used and what it has achieved
- To help demonstrate impact – i.e. to boost your profile and potentially secure further funding
- To understand what is working well (or not) – i.e. to inform continuous improvement
- To give participants or service users a voice – i.e. engage beneficiaries in shaping delivery
- To contribute to the evidence base of ‘what works’ – i.e. to share the learning and support the commissioning of future interventions
A good monitoring framework will enable relevant data and information to be captured on a continuous basis. It will also provide the foundations for systematic evaluation in order to demonstrate whether the intervention has worked (and how). Southern Horizons (UK) Ltd has a strong track record in delivering robust monitoring and evaluation services which are helping organisations to make informed decisions and providing evidence for future delivery.
We have also developed extensive expertise in delivering Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) compliant summative assessments having led seven and supported a further six assessments across Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. Covering both capital and revenue interventions, this includes projects in Priority Axis 1 (covering research and innovation), Priority Axis 2 (covering digital technology) Priority Axis 3 (covering business support, entrepreneurship support and grant funding), Priority Axis 4 (covering low carbon), Priority Axis 6 (covering resource efficiency) and Priority Axis 9 (covering Technical Assistance).
Featured Case Studies:
Project: Developing Skills for Business
Client: The Cornwall College Group
Working with Buckman Associates we completed an evaluation of the ESF Developing Skills for Business project, managed by The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) on behalf of a consortium of sector based delivery leads. DS4B aimed to provide a strategic approach to developing employer-led skills with businesses and, in focusing on businesses rather than individuals, was one of the first projects of its kind within the C&IoS allocation of ESIF Priority Axis 2. The purpose of the evaluation was deliver insights into the project’s design and delivery; performance against targets; and, outcomes and impacts. The assignment was delivered in three stages. In stage 1 – the initial formative evaluation – we designed an evaluation plan and data collection methods. Stage 2 – the interim evaluation – involved a ‘light touch’ assessment to support continuous improvement for the project team, focusing primarily on the project’s early performance and lessons from delivery. Stage 3 – the summative assessment – provided a full evaluation of all activity with a more substantial focus on outcomes and impacts as well as lessons learned.
ERDF Summative Assessments
Project: Isles of Scilly Voucher Scheme and Strategic Technical Assistance Team Projects
Client: Council of the Isles of Scilly
Working with Buckman Associates Ltd we delivered an MHCLG compliant summative assessment of this voucher scheme project which was part-funded through the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly (C&IoS) European Structural and Investment Funds. In addition to a desk based review of documentation the research included a telephone survey of 34 grant recipients, in-depth case studies with six beneficiaries, a workshop with the delivery team and conversations with a strategic selection of 11 stakeholders. The assessment provided an objective and contextualised evaluation of the project’s progress and achievements, management and delivery as well as its outcomes, impacts and Value for Money, concluding with lessons learned, particularly for an island economy. Building on this work, Southern Horizons went on to complete a summative assessment of the IoS Strategic Technical Assistance Team Project which was designed to support ERDF applicants develop compliant, eligible and good value projects for the Isles of Scilly and ensure linkages with other programme wide activities.
Client: Southampton City Council
Working with Dr Zoë James from the University of Plymouth we are conducting a three year evaluation of the Working with Families project on behalf of Southampton City Council. This project is based on a service wide application of restorative principles across Southampton’s Children and Families Directorate and the purpose of the evaluation is to ensure that formative learning influences the development of the project but also to draw summative conclusions on processes and impact measures. It is underpinned by a Monitoring & Evaluation Plan (M&E) which we co-created with stakeholders to set out the project’s Key Performance Indicators as a series of outputs, outcomes and impacts following a clear logic model. Having completed a baseline setting exercise in the autumn of 2018/spring of 2019, we have recently undertaken an interim evaluation to support continuous improvement and will complete a summative assessment in 2021.