evaluation

CEP supporting Evaluation of SEA Directive

CEP TO FACILITATE A WORKSHOP FOR EUROPEAN COMMISSION ON EVALUATION OF THE SEA DIRECTIVE 

As part of the Study to support the REFIT evaluation of Directive 2001/42/EC on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment (SEA Directive) CEP will support the project lead, Milieu Ltd, in delivering a workshop for the European Commission on evaluation of the SEA Directive.

The purpose of the workshop is to present and discuss the emerging findings of the SEA REFIT study with the members of the panel and a wide professional audience including participants from EU member states environmental and other authorities and institutions, European Commission, NGOs, companies and industry associations, practice and academia.

The workshop will be held in Brussels on 6th December.

For more information contact Dr Bill Sheate (Technical Director) or Spela Kolaric (Senior Consultant).      

CEP Supporting Our Bright Future Evaluation

CEP support workshop with steering group on Our Bright Future evaluation

CEP supported project lead ERS in delivering a workshop to members of the Our Bright Future Programme’s Steering Group, as part of the programme evaluation. Our Bright Future is a five year Big Lottery funded programme supporting 31 youth and environment projects across the UK.

The purpose of the session was to draw upon the views and insight of the steering group for the upcoming mid-term programme evaluation in 2019. The themes explored in the workshop, led by ERS, included a discussion on the programme outcomes, external factors influencing the programme, and programme objectives required to achieve the aspired programme legacy.

The workshop was held in the London Welsh Centre in North London on 24th October. Please contact Izzy Cotton for more information.

CEP at CECAN meeting

CEP's Dr Clare TwiGger-Ross at CECAN team meeting

Dr Clare Twigger-Ross is attending the internal CECAN (Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity across the Nexus) team meeting at Barnett Hill, near Guildford on Friday 13th October .  This meeting will cover CECAN case studies,  updates from CECAN fellows, and discuss the impact of CECAN in terms of outputs, capacity building in both practitioners and policy makers, and policy relevance.

For further information about CEP's involvement in CECAN see our news items here.

Further information about CECAN can be found at  www.cecan.ac.uk

CEP at CECAN Workshop on increasing the impact of policy evaluation

CEP at CECAN Workshop on increasing the impact of policy evaluation

CEP participated in a workshop organised by CECAN to explore how evaluation practice can become more impactful in the future. The workshop 'Increasing Impact of Policy Evaluation in Complex Settings – What Works?' took place on 5 September 2017 in London. It sought to:

  1. share recent experience on successful evaluation impact in complex nexus policy areas
  2. share expertise in maximising the impact of evaluation in these policy settings
  3. generate practical recommendations for policymakers, analysts and evaluators
  4. generate ideas for focussing future R&D in this area
  5. produce a policy note on how evaluation practice can become more impactful in future

CEP's  Dr Clare Twigger-Ross discussed the impact of CEP's evaluation of Defra's Flood Resilience Community Pathfinder.

Further details of the workshop can be found here.

CEP delivering ex-post evaluation seminar at Defra

CEP delivering ex-post evaluation seminar at Defra

CEP's Dr Clare Twigger-Ross and CEP associate Teresa Bennett are delivering a 'Simply Evidence' seminar on the ex-post evaluation of flood strategy plans and schemes for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). 

The seminar, to take place in Defra on Wednesday 20 August, aims to increase awareness on what 'ex-post evaluation' is and how evaluation practice can be improved within existing institutional arrangements. Clare and Teresa will also be sharing insights on how ex-post evaluation can benefit the Government's Smarter Guidance agenda, and how lessons arising from current and past evaluations can be taken forward.

This seminar emerges from the suggestions of a project previously undertaken by CEP for Defra on Enhancing Ex-Post Evaluation of Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management Strategies and Schemes (FCERM). Findings from the project suggested that there is space within the current FCERM processes for ex-post evaluation to be developed but for it to be implemented there needs to be institutional support and clear ownership of the process. The project report is available here.

CEP's evaluation of low cost resilience to flooding project published by Defra

Photo credit: michael kooiman on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

CEP's evaluation of a small-scale project trialing low cost resilience to flooding was published by Defra

CEP carried out an independent evaluation of a small-scale demonstration project designed to test an innovative approach to flood repairable systems in a flood-prone area. The demonstration was carried out in Tewkesbury as part of the project 'Supporting the uptake of low cost resilience for properties at risk of flooding'. The project, led by by the University of the West of England,  involved a number of partners and worked with the local Property Support Network – builders, retailers, loss adjusters, local authorities, and insurers – to support take-up of these approaches.  

The project identifies barriers and proposes solutions to promote low cost approaches that would make properties at risk of flooding more resilient to damage from flood waters. The project's final report, technical annex and CEP's evaluation report (appendix to the final report) are available here.

CEP'S SEMINAR ON PRACTICAL POLICY EVALUATION AVAILABLE ONLINE

CEP'S SEMINAR ON LEARNING LESSONS FROM PRACTICAL POLICY EVALUATION AVAILABLE ONLINE

CEP's Dr Clare Twigger-Ross, Owen White and Dr Bill Sheate delivered a seminar for the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN) on Learning lessons from practical policy evaluationThe seminar reflected on the findings of a meta-evaluation study of 23 of CEP's evaluation projects, exploring lessons around the evaluation of complexity, the role of methods and the nature of evaluation impact (full report available here). 

To listen to the discussion on the key factors that affect evaluation progress and gain insights on managing complexity and navigating an evaluation through dynamic policy landscapes, click here.

CEP to deliver CECAN seminar on practical policy evaluation

CEP to deliver CECAN seminar on learning lessons from practical policy evaluation

CEP will be delivering a seminar for the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN) on Learning lessons from practical policy evaluation: reflecting on a meta-evaluation of UK/EU policy and practice evaluations across the nexus.

The seminar will take place on 14 June 2017, in London, and will reflect on the findings of a meta-evaluation study of 23 of CEP's evaluation projects, exploring lessons around the evaluation of complexity, the role of methods and the nature of evaluation impact. This research brought out the key factors that affect evaluation progress and provided insights on how to navigate an evaluation through dynamic policy landscapes. The full report is available here.

In this seminar CEP's Dr Clare Twigger-Ross and Owen White will facilitate a discussion around the key findings from this research and approaches for managing complexity in evaluations. 

For more information and to register for this seminar visit CECAN's website.

British Council publishes CEP's case studies evaluating contribution to SDGs

British Council publishes CEP's case studies evaluating programmes' contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals

CEP was commissioned by the British Council to undertake a baseline study on the British Council's contribution in developing and promoting the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The study included the review of a selection of programmes across the British Council’s portfolio and the development of three case studies. As well as illustrating impact and lessons learned, these case studies highlight good practice and provide useful guidance for further developing British Council's programmes.

The case studies are now available on the British Council's website.

CEP commissioned to evaluate the Nurturing Nature Conservation Skills Project

CEP commissioned by Natural ENGLAND to evaluate the Nurturing Nature Conservation Skills Project

CEP has been commissioned by Natural England to undertake the evaluation of the Nurturing Nature Conservation Skills using National Nature Reserves (NNRs) project funded under the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Skills for the Future Programme. The evaluation is expected to run until summer 2017.

The aim of the Nurturing Nature Conservation Skills project is to evolve work-based training programmes and develop the skills of people entering the nature conservation sector or wanting to enhance specialist skills. It aims to demonstrate how practice-based learning models can provide the priority heritage skills required to care for England’s most valuable wildlife and geological heritage.

The project has been delivering training through placements across Natural England’s National Nature Reserves. Skills developed include habitat and species identification and recording, ecological surveying, habitat management and landscape restoration.

CEP is carrying out the evaluation of the project to establish whether and how its aims and objectives have been met and to provide evidence of successes. Key elements of the evaluation include:

  • Developing qualitative and quantitative evaluation tools;
  • Coding and analysing the information delivered by these tools;

  • Reporting on the evaluation findings using a methodology that ‘tells the project story’.

Teresa Bennett is the evaluation project manager.

Learning lessons for evaluating complexity across the nexus

CECAN (the Centre for Evaluation of Complexity across the Nexus, based at the University of Surrey, has published the final report of CEP's meta-evaluation study of 23 selected evaluation projects we have undertaken relating to Nexus issues – water, environment, food, energy - over the last 10 years.  

The full report  - Learning lessons for evaluating complexity across the nexus: a meta-evaluation of CEP projects - is available here.

We evaluated the evaluation approaches and findings from a range of case studies – national and EU policy level down to programme level policy interventions and other initiatives – and sought to address three aims:
1.    To learn the lessons from past policy evaluations; 
2.    To understand the factors that support or inhibit (barriers or enablers to) successful evaluations: and
3.    To explore the value of different types of approaches and methods used for evaluating complexity

An important finding was the extent to which the contexts for evaluations at the EU level and UK levels differ: a very strong policy cycle exists for EU evaluations, which creates a more rigid framework for monitoring and evaluation, compared to the much greater degree of policy flux in the UK, and the resulting need for greater flexibility in the way in which evaluations are undertaken, and hence the greater utility of qualitative data collection and analysis methods.

Consequently the use or influence of evaluations in policy making differs considerably – there is much more instrumental (direct) use of EU evaluations compared to more conceptual or process (indirect) use of UK evaluations.

For further information contact Dr Bill Sheate or Dr Clare Twigger-Ross 

The key findings from the study are summarised in the infographic below:

CEP meta-evaluation Summary Infographic Jan 2017fin.jpg

CEP's work on enhancing ex-post evaluation published by Defra

CEP's work on enhancing ex-post evaluation of FCERM plans and schemes published by Defra

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs commissioned CEP, with our partners HR Wallingford, Middlesex University and Ruth Johnston, to investigate the practice of, and barriers to, the ex-post evaluation of Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) plans and schemes.

Phase 1 of the project reviewed the extent to which ex-post evaluation is undertaken, highlighting examples of good practice and considering how evaluation practice could be improved. Phase 2 of the work developed case studies providing Defra with evidence to inform possible approaches to ex-post evaluation of FCERM plans and schemes.

The project's final report for Phase 1: Enhancing ex-post evaluation of flood and coastal erosion risk management plans and schemes' and  Phase 2: Case Study report are now available online.

CEP's Dr Clare Twigger-Ross awarded CECAN Fellowship

Photo credit: 'jigsaw puzzle pieces' by Electric-Eye on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

CEP's Dr Clare Twigger-Ross awarded CECAN Fellowship

CEP's Dr Clare Twigger-Ross has been awarded a Fellowship by the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN) Investigating the value of qualitative comparative analysis in relation to the Defra Flood Resilience Community Pathfinder (FRCP) evaluation. Building on the Defra FRCP evaluation undertaken by CEP (2013 - 2015), this study aims to identify key factors that predict improved community resilience.

The key evaluation challenge for this study will be the attribution of causality in the context of community resilience to flooding. A key methodological development will be testing qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) in a novel (flooding) complex evaluation situation to examine its feasibility for similar situations, and to assess the aspects of QCA of most use to this type of evaluation.

This is expected to raise key complexity issues in evaluation, which have been recently explored in CEP's project for CECAN Learning lessons for evaluating complexity at the nexus: a meta-evaluation of CEP projects. The findings of this project will become available on the CECAN website in the coming months.

CEP to evaluate Big Lottery Fund's Our Bright Future Programme

Photo credit: 'Blazin Sun' by Stephen Bowler on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

CEP and partners ERS to evaluate Big Lottery Fund's Our Bright Future Programme

CEP, with partners Economic Research Services (ERS), are undertaking the evaluation of the Our Bright Future Programme. The Our Bright Future Programme aims to empower young people to lead progressive change in their communities and local environment, through a portfolio of 31 projects across the UK, each with a duration of three to five years. The Programme is supported by £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 supported 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 have been commissioned by the Royal Society of  Wildlife Trusts to undertake the Programme level evaluation. The evaluation aims to:

  • 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

Owen White is CEP’s lead for this project.

CEP at FloodRISK Conference 2016

Photo credit: Flooded River Severn by muffinn on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

CEP at European Conference on Flood Risk Management

CEP has contributed two papers to FloodRisk 2016, the 3rd European Conference on Flood Risk Management, which will be shown in Lyon on 19 and 20 October.  The papers are co-authored by Clare Twigger-Ross, Paula Orr, Katya Brooks and Rolands Sadauskis and draw on evidence from CEP’s evaluation of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Flood resilience Community Pathfinders (2013-15).

Dr Clare Twigger-Ross’s presentation on ‘Citizen Involvement in Flood Risk Government: Flood groups and networks’ will be shown on Wednesday 19 October, as part of the session on Disaster Management and Recovery.  A presentation by Paula Orr entitled ‘Pieces of kit are not enough: Flood infrastructure and community resilience’ will be shown on Thursday 20 October, in the session on Vulnerability and Societal Resilience.

After the conference, the presentations will be available on CEP’s website.

CECAN official launch event and workshop

Photo credit:'knot' by Lindsey Turner on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

CECAN official launch event and 2-day Complexity in Evaluation Workshop

The 'Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus' (CECAN), a £3 million research centre hosted by the University of Surrey, is being officially launched at the CECAN Event: Policy Evaluation for A Complex World, taking place on 13th September in London. A panel discussion will encourage debate on the Nexus policy areas at the heart of the Centre's work, and raise critical questions around complexity, evaluation methodologies, and 'what works in practice'. CEP will attend as part of CECAN's coalition of experts and leading UK bodies who will be developing new ways to measure the effectiveness of domestic policies across the energy, environment, water and food Nexus.

Following the launch event, on the 15th & 16th September, a 2 Day Residential 'Complexity in Evaluation' Workshop will take place in Surrey. The workshop will combine participatory design and collaborative problem solving with information and ideas exchange between CECAN and partners. Dr Clare Twigger-Ross and Dr Bill Sheate from CEP will be attending the workshop.

For more information and to sign up to the events please see CECAN's event webpage.

CEP commissioned to evaluate TimberLINK

Photo credit: 'Kintyre' by John Lord on Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

CEP is Undertaking the Environmental and Economic evaluation of TimberLINK for Forestry CommissioN SCOTLAND

CEP, in association with Reference Economic Consultants and the University of Strathclyde, has been commissioned to undertake an environmental and economic evaluation of TimberLINK for Forestry Commission Scotland.  

TimberLINK is an environmental transport initiative which commenced in 2000 and is designed to provide a sustainable alternative to road haulage. The service, supported by the Scottish Government, ships around 80-100,000 tonnes of timber a year from forests in Argyll to processors in Ayrshire across the Firth of Clyde. As well as helping to ensure economic development around the local ports, the service has been estimated to remove around 8,000 lorry journeys a year from roads between Argyll and Ayrshire.

CEP is carrying out the evaluation of TimberLINK to inform the decision on the future of the service beyond the end of the current funding period in March 2017.

CEP's Dr Peter Phillips is managing the project under the direction of Dr Bill Sheate.

CEP undertaking a meta-evaluation of its past policy evaluations

 

Photo credit: 'puzzle' by Kevin Dooley on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

CEP undertaking a ‘meta-evaluation’ of its past policy evaluations for CECAN

As part of CEP’s role as a partner in CECAN (Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus), CEP is carrying out a meta-evaluation of a sample of the evaluation projects it has undertaken over the last 10 years. The review will seek to learn the lessons from past policy evaluations, and the value of different types of approaches and methods used for evaluating complexity.

This extensive meta-evaluation of projects will support CECAN’s initial scoping stage and provide critical insights in understanding complexity and developing new ways to measure the effectiveness of policies across the ‘nexus’.

CEP’s Dr Clare Twigger-Ross and Dr Bill Sheate are joint project leads.

CEP delivered seminar at James Hutton Institute

Photo credit: 'land lines' by apalca on Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

CEP's Dr Peter Phillips delivered a seminar on land use policy evaluation at JHI

On 28th July, CEP's Dr Peter Phillips gave an invited seminar to members of the James Hutton Institute Social, Economic and Geographical Sciences (SEGS) Research Group. His seminar was entitled Evaluating policies for sustainable land use - methods and case studies and built on CEP's land use and natural environment policy evaluation and research expertise and experience in Scotland and elsewhere. 

CEP at CECAN workshop on understanding complexity

CEP at CECAN workshop on understanding complexity

CEP's Dr Clare Twigger-Ross and Dr Bill Sheate will participate in a 1 day workshop on 9th June hosted by the Centre for the Evaluation of Complexity Across the Nexus (CECAN) to tackle the question of 'What is complexity?'.

 Discussions will include:

  • What are our different understandings of complexity?
  • Examples of complexity in policy evaluation and design, and Nexus systems
  • What factors in policy processes and Nexus systems make complexity difficult to handle?
  • Sharing innovative ideas and approaches
  • What tools can we bring/matching of tools to complex problems
  • As a policy maker, how do I know I am dealing with a complex problem?

The workshop will focus on some of the real-world policy case studies put forward by CECAN's co-funders and provide an opportunity to plan a wider public 2 day residential workshop in September 2016.

The event is by invitation only.