EVALUATION OF THE BIG LOTTERY FUNDED OUR BRIGHT FUTURE PROGRAMME
CEP, with partners Economic Research Services (ERS), were commissioned in September 2016 to undertaking the evaluation of the Our Bright Future Programme. The Our Bright Future Programme is a five-year programme (2016 – 2021) which aims to empower young people to lead progressive change in their communities and local environment. Our Bright Future is supported through £33 million of funding from the Big Lottery Fund, and is managed by a consortium of eight organisations led by The Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts.
The programme is being delivered through a portfolio of 31 projects across the UK, each with a duration of three to five years. The projects range in scale from those with a local focus to national level delivering in multiple areas. All the projects are based around key themes including: environmental action, environmental campaigning, leadership and influencing, and sustainable enterprises and vocational training.
CEP and ERS are undertaking the Programme level evaluation. The evaluation will:
- Test whether the Our Bright Future Programme has achieved its long term ambitions
- Provide better evidence on how young people can improve their local environment
- Test and evidence whether a partnership way of working that invests in human, social and natural capital, is an effective means by which to deliver greater impact
- Identify good practice and ongoing improvements
The work on this evaluation has involved: developing an evaluation framework, in dialogue with all projects through a series of workshops; designing project monitoring and reporting templates to assist projects in providing consistent data and evidence; developing guidance and frequently asked questions (FAQ) style documents to provide support to projects in their evaluation activities; working alongside the Our Bright Future programme team to provide ‘real-time’ learning from the evaluation and to support sharing of experience across the portfolio.
A key challenge that the evaluation has had to manage and overcome is the development of an evaluation framework that is suitable for an evaluation at the programme level while recognising the programme represents a large number of very diverse projects. This has been achieved by ensuring all projects have had input to the evaluation design, and by using a case-study led approach together with a small number of key evaluation measures, alongside flexibility for projects to monitor what is relevant to them.