Invitation to tender for an Independent Evaluation brief of EACH’s Employment and Health Project Stride, funded by The Big Lottery

Tenders are being welcomed from researchers for the independent evaluation of Project Stride

Invitation to tender for an Independent Evaluation brief of EACH’s Employment and Health Project Stride, funded by The Big Lottery

POSTED: 29th January 2018 11:41am

The deadline for submitting expressions of interest has now passed.  Thank you to all who have shown interest in this evaluation project.

 

Introduction

EACH Counselling and Support is the commissioning organisation. We are a small-medium sized charity working across West London providing a range of services, namely counselling, structured day programmes, psycho-educational groups, key working, advice, information and advocacy, to people experiencing or affected by drugs and alcohol, mental health and domestic violence and abuse.

We operate at two centres in Brent and Ealing, with a mental health users’ drop in facility in Hounslow, from satellites in various locations and through outreach. Further details about EACH and our work is available on our website.

 

Focus of the evaluation

The evaluation will be of Project Stride, a health and employment initiative, which is funded by the Big Lottery Fund through its Reaching Communities programme. It is in its third, and final, year. This brief sets out the nature of the evaluation, the anticipated outputs and the intended outcomes. It should form the basis of your Expression of Interest (EOI) in bidding for the contract. This should set out the methodology of how you will evaluate the success of the project in assessing its impact and achieving outcomes for a) clients; b) other beneficiaries identified within the project and c) stakeholders where applicable, i.e. organisations and professionals that the project has worked with.

Your EOI should include the methodology to be employed and the tools needed to gather qualitative and quantitative data such as questionnaires, focus groups, etc in order to demonstrate what has changed in the lives of those users who took part in the project.

 

The Project

The project aims to enable service users recovering from substance misuse, domestic violence and mental health to develop the skills and confidence to take up and sustain employment, training and education. Key project activities are:

  • Employment coaching and training
  • Training programmes and workshops (e.g. CV writing, presentation skills, self-esteem and confidence)
  • E-learning and training
  • One to one counselling and group based recovery
  • Peer support, including to provide in work support
  • Work with employers to identify work placements and vacancies, as well as enable them to be more supportive

Whilst the above activities were part of the Year One plan, over the course of the project there have been variations built into its implementation.

 

Purpose of the evaluation

This evaluation will be used to assess progress and impact in meeting the project outcomes. It will be used to highlight the changes, or otherwise, that the project has made to its beneficiaries and other organisations and professionals way of working or understanding. The evaluation will need to draw out the learning from the work, including on the model of delivery and identify best practice for dissemination.

 

Audience

The report will be used both internally and to promote the effectiveness of the project externally to various stakeholders, including the Big Lottery, funders, local partnerships. It will also be used to identify future areas of work for development.

 

Existing Data and Reports

We have annual and interim monitoring reports produced for the Big Lottery, since the commencement of the project. Information and data on project users’ is available, including referral sources, demographics and individual outcomes. Client satisfaction surveys are available and we will also be able to facilitate access to project users. We also have the original research which informed the application to the Big Lottery. The successful evaluator will need to contact organisations and professionals that have worked with the project – we will provide contact details and will have informed them of this evaluation.

 

Evaluation task

The project has specific outcomes (difference to be made) and indicators to gauge the level of impact agreed with its funder. These are related to the Big Lottery priority (at time of funding), and are set out below, as well as the requirements from the evaluation.

 

Big Lottery Funding Priority

People have better chances in life, with better access to training and development to improve their life skills.

Project Outcome Project Indicators
People recovering from  substance misuse, domestic violence and mental health have increased confidence,  motivation and better health to access ETE or volunteering
  • 180 people per annum using the service will report having better self-esteem, well-being and resilience 
  • 163 people per annum using the service make their personal ETE plans and apply for ETE opportunities Develop and embed the service within EACH centres and satellites, and to enhance project reach through weekly drop-in clinics at statutory services, e.g. GPs, housing offices, libraries, leisure centres 
  • 462 people by end of the project using the service report improved feelings of responsibility and aspirations to work 
Basic employability skills (literacy and numeracy) of people accessing the project will be improved, including English for people from BME groups

 

  • 114 people per annum report increased ability to undertake job searches
  • 102 people per annum using the service report improved levels of literacy and numeracy skills, including levels of English
  • 462 people by end of the project using the service report increased ability to prepare for ETE interviews

 

People recovering from substance misuse, domestic violence and mental health demonstrate improved employment skills
  • 153 people per annum using the service report improved ability to use IT effectively
  • 102 people per annum using the service report improved vocational preparation with job relevant qualifications and/or experience
  • 528 people by end of the project using the service report improved inter-personal and social skills
People using the service gain or sustain employment, including with on-going support
  • 100 people per annum using the service take up work placements
  • 75 people per annum using the service gain employment
  • 182 people by end of the project using the service sustain their employment for 3 months, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years
Evaluation needs to address and include 
  • The extent to which the project has achieved the intended outcomes
  • The impact and nature of it on users accessing and supported by the project
  • Identify any unintended benefits  of the project to users, organisations and professionals
  • Identify strengths and weaknesses of the approach taken to improve health and employability of its users
  • If feasible whether this approach has had a differential impact on specific groups of users (women/BME)
  • What could have been done differently
  • Describe the extent to and how the project built successful partnerships
  • How has the project influenced other organisations and professionals (if at all)
  • Provide beneficiary case studies
  • Lessons learnt and good practice 

 

Barriers to Evaluation

There maybe issues with contacting some of the project users and getting their views due to concerns around stigma and confidentiality. Potential evaluators need to be mindful of the client group (culture, gender, language etc) supported by the project.

 

Reporting

We will expect a brief interim report plus a draft followed by the final report.

 

EOI Requirements

Potential bidders will need to provide the following:

 

  • An up to date CV outlining evaluations or research undertaken
  • Key personnel to be involved – experiences and past work 
  • Framework to undertake the work, including milestones and timelines
  • Proposed methodology
  • Budget (inclusive of VAT and expenses where applicable)
  • Names and contact details of 2 independent referees

 

Timescales

The proposed timescale for this work is as follows:

  • Deadline for EOIs: Noon, 16 February 2018
  • EOIs evaluated: Week 19 February 2018
  • Confirmation of contract: End February 2018
  • Delivery of final report: Mid- June 2018

 

Budget

There is a budget of £5,000 set aside to pay for this evaluation.

 

Contact details

To register your interest, submit EOIs or to clarify any aspect of this tender, please contact via email only:

Hazel Yamac

Projects & Communications Officer

EACH Counselling and Support

hcartmill@eachcounselling.org.uk

 

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