People argue a lot about evaluation and ‘social impact analysis’ (see, they even argue about what it should be called). They especially love to argue about the ‘best’ way to do it. Like whether you should or shouldn’t have an external evaluator, or whether you should or shouldn’t do a Randomised Controlled Trial (RCT). Frankly, it can get a bit confusing – so how do you know the best way to ‘do’ an evaluation? Especially if you're working in social innovation. The answer is that there is no ‘best’ way. more >
In the UK the health and social care sectors face an unprecedented period of change with the focus on self directed support and personal budgets, developing community networks and the imminent NHS reorganisation. These are challenging times for the care sector with substantial budget cuts and increased expectations from service users for more personal and improved care services. There is an urgent need to find new and more effective means of supporting people to live more independently in their communities. more >
"In December, we finished the first (if you don't count the prototype) Nominet Trust Academy. A 16 week, one week on, one week off programme, for any Nominet Trust funded project to attend. The main purpose of the Academy was to create a learning environment that would build the capacity of participants’ projects to be scaled and/or sustained. more >
Using data to create maps of various kinds is an intriguing and entertaining process: but is it useful? Could such maps make us unjustifiably confident that we know where we are, and where we should be going?
As a social investor we're inescapably dependent on data from the organisations we support if we wish understand our own impact. They too must have their data dependencies: service-users, staff, partner organisations, open data sources or all of the above. Yet 'extracting' the data we're after from our working relationships can be tricky: we none of us enjoy filling in forms at others' behest.
What can we learn from one of our projects about how to go about it?