What was the issue you were addressing or working on?
Stakeholders in North and South Lanarkshire Partnerships agreed a theory of change for Reshaping Care for Older People in April 2012, represented in logic model format. The outcomes they want to achieve provided a framework for the evaluation. The problem to be addressed was how to determine the success of a programme comprised of a wide-ranging set of initiatives. Some may be more successful than others, some may encounter unexpected blocks that thwart progress for a time, whilst others may simply turn out to be unworkable in practice. A means of bringing the different initiatives together under a common framework was required.
What you did?
A wide-ranging set of initiatives has been developed in the partnerships of North and South Lanarkshire, and this presents a considerable challenge for determining success of the RCOP Programme. A Contribution Analysis (CA) approach attempts to determine individual project influence on an agreed set of outcomes and enables us to be explicit about the strength of evidence gathered from each project and the impact on outcomes. A total of 39 functional Change Fund initiatives are underway in Lanarkshire, although a number of enablers (e.g. Communications Officer, Programme Managers) are also being supported. Some required only pump-prime funding, while others will receive support over a longer period of time. The evaluation is focusing on these functional projects including those exclusive to the North or South Lanarkshire Partnerships and those jointly funded by both.
All funded initiatives have agreed which logic model outcomes they will influence and are providing evidence to demonstrate this. The evidence is being assimilated into a Contribution Story, which will enable credible causal claims to be made about the influence of the different initiatives on the observed results. The Contribution Story will be updated at six monthly intervals and completed by March 2015. Initial evidence suggests that the theory of change is supported i.e. many initiatives are generating evidence of outcomes achieved.
What were the outcomes - benefits or otherwise?
The 2nd Contribution Story was published in September 2013.
Project representatives were asked to provide evidence that they were achieving their agreed outcomes between July and September, 2013. The evaluation evidence submitted at this stage was of variable quality. Of the 39 functional initiatives in receipt of Change Funding in Lanarkshire, most were able to cite evidence that they had already gathered, or were in the process of collecting, to demonstrate influence on the agreed programme outcomes. We concluded that the evidence gathered to date supports the programme logic model. This does not mean that the evaluation is complete, rather there is further work to do with all projects continuing to benefit from Change Funding. The report provides an overview of evidence, presented in table format, and then contributions to each of the short and medium term outcomes in the logic model are illustrated. The report is available here.