Tender Specification – Black Country 50 Plus Partnership project evaluation
Contract value: A maximum of £15,148
Submission deadline: Friday 25th February 5pm
Contract award date: Monday 28th February
Final project evaluation report – 15th July 2022
Sandwell MBC’s Employment and Skills service would like to appoint an independent evaluator to conduct an evaluation of the Community Renewal Funded Black Country 50 Plus Partnership.
Our delivery approach is developmental and experimental as we are not pre-determining all activities which will be delivered. Therefore, our evaluation will need to analyse our emergent developments which evolve throughout the life of the project. Each delivery partner will be involved in some form of evaluation as action research will form a key part of delivery. We will assess what is working well to inform activities going forward. Our beneficiaries will also be key participants in our research in the form of co-production, empowering participants to shape delivery and co-design content. We will include a beneficiary on the innovation pots scoring panels to share decision making with our participants.
The project design includes the role of the navigator, this model should be explored in its ability to identify barriers and to facilitate and engage participants to be supported into a destination. Exploration of the effectiveness and application of the innovation fund should also be assessed as part of the delivery model.
The evaluation will analyse both quantitative and qualitative outputs and outcomes. From a quantitative perspective we will have a series of performance indicators which will articulate the additional delivery the funding has enabled to be delivered. Our qualitative data should give us rich stories of beneficiaries’ experiences of taking part in the project. Robust beneficiary feedback will be collected by partners and used for evaluation purposes. Strategic partners and delivery partners views will be gathered regarding their perception of the impact of the partnership. Our navigators will be key sources for information on the impact of the programme including delivering good news stories.
Based on the Community Renewal fund technical note, evaluations should cover:
Appropriateness of initial design
The projects planned outcomes and impact, including critical analysis about the appropriateness of the project’s design given the objectives. Include any change to context from the original application. If changes have taken place relating to practical delivery the benefits which could be realised for beneficiaries and the local economy.
- What was the project seeking to do?
- What was the economic and policy context at the time that the project was designed?
- What were the specific market failures that the project was seeking to address? Was there a strong rationale for the project?
- Was it appropriately designed to achieve its objectives? Was the delivery model appropriate?
- Were the targets set for the project realistic and achievable?
- How did the context change as the project was delivered and did this exert any particular pressures on project delivery?
- Bearing in mind the project design itself and any changes in context could the project reasonably be expected to perform well against its targets?
Progress against targets
Progress of the project’s implementation, including expenditure, activity and project outputs including any variations explained supported by evidence.
- Has the project delivered what it expected to in terms of spend and outputs?
- What are the factors which explain this performance?
- When the project draws to a close, is it expected to have achieved what it set out to?
Delivery and management
Qualitative analysis of the implementation of the project, including areas such as procurement, selection procedures, delivery performance, governance and management.
- Was the project well managed? Were the right governance and management structures in place and did they operate in the way they were expected to?
- Has the project delivered its intended activities to a high standard?
- Could the delivery of the project have been improved in any way?
- For projects with direct beneficiaries: did the project engage with and select the right beneficiaries? Were the right procedures and criteria in place to ensure the project focused on the right beneficiaries?
- How are project activities perceived by stakeholders and beneficiaries? What are their perceptions of the quality of activities / delivery?
Outcomes and impact
Analysis which sets out the projects progress towards the intended outcomes and impacts. The analysis should include forecasts of lifetime outturns where it is realistic to calculate realistic forecasts.
- What progress has the project made towards achieving the intended outcome and impacts?
- To what extent are the changes in relevant impact and outcome indicators attributable to project activities?
- What are the gross and net additional economic, social and environmental benefits of the project (where relevant and applicable to project activities)?
- Can these benefits be quantified and attributed to the project in a statistically robust way?
- How has the project contributed to the wider strategic plan under which it was developed?
Value for money
A clear analysis of the value for money, including as a minimum cost per output analysis.
If appropriate supplemented by benefit cost ratio analysis, however alternative methods could be used, see the ‘Green Book’.
- Strengths and weaknesses of the project
- Lessons learned for audiences including, the grant recipient/project delivery body, policy makers and those designing and implementing similar interventions.
- Lessons learnt must to objective, constructive and wholly evidenced within the report.
Suggested good practice for the Community Renewal fund
The Community Renewal Funding technical notes makes reference to evaluation good practice (exert below) which we would like to incorporate into our evaluation:
“Good policy-making necessitates a thorough understanding of the intervention and how it is expected to achieve the expected outcomes. Good evaluation also requires this understanding. Thoroughly examining the proposed intervention ensures:
- an understanding of how the intervention is expected to work in practice, e.g. the problem the intervention aims to address; the change it aims to bring about; the causal chain of events that are expected to bring about the change; the main actors; the groups expected to be impacted; and the expected conditions required for the intervention to succeed;
- exposing the assumptions upon which the intervention is based and the strength or weakness of the evidence supporting these assumptions;
- an examination of the wider context, such as other policy changes or changes in economic, social and environmental factors;
- designers and implementers of the intervention have the opportunity to stress-test the intervention design and ensure they agree on how the intervention is expected to work.
Understanding the intervention is typically done through synthesising existing evidence and producing a Theory of Change (ToC).”
Applications will have already set out the intended project outcomes and impacts. We would encourage projects, if they have not already done so, to build this into a ToC. Having a ToC will enable you to better understand what evaluation approach you want to take and what, if any, additional data you may want to collect to undertake your evaluation.
Tender application process
Tenders should provide a detailed evaluation plan and methodology including key milestones which meet the above requirements, specification and suggested good practice.
Applicants should provide information on their experience of evaluating projects with particular reference to experience of community – based projects and/or employment and skills support programmes.
Please also include your capacity to deliver the required work within the set timescales and a financial breakdown of costs.
Please confirm your availability to attend a WMCA virtual meeting on 10th March (times to be confirmed)
Applications must be forwarded to firstname.lastname@example.org by no later than 5pm 25th February 2022.