Despite the multi-million-pound investment across the UK in public health approaches to crime and violence reduction, only a small percentage of frontline projects are ever evaluated.
The result is that organisations and funders are missing opportunities to ensure that their investments are making an impact and that the desired benefits of the work are evidenced and sustained.
It also means that the opportunities to continually test and improve access to the service, its processes and outcomes are also lost.
Our team is dedicated to ensuring that:
With the vast range of expertise within our team – comprising researchers, business experts, and data analysts – we can provide you with full research design, advice, and consultancy on your project and service evaluations.
We offer a variety of methods for data-collection including face to face interviewing, focus groups, surveys, and a range of innovative online tools.
We will analyse all the quantitative data and qualitative feedback for our partners and will produce full or summary reports supported by case studies, clear data sets and analysis.
Our services include:
Consultation, Advice and Support
Before undertaking an evaluation, we can undertake an initial phase of consultation with our partner’s key project staff to:
At the end of that initial phase of work, we will submit a range of options to you, advising on the best framework for data-collection, the various tools which can be used to capture the essential data central to the evaluation and the software that might be used most effectively to house the information and to allow staff to query, monitor and report routinely on the data.
We can design and deliver mixed method evaluation of projects and services with the following components:
Outcome evaluation – to assess the extent to which the proposed interventions generate positive outcomes in relation to individual clients or project-users, families, support networks and others. We can assess intermediate outcomes related to emotional wellbeing and the management of key trauma symptoms, as well as outcomes relating to key areas including substance misuse, involvement in offending, violence or antisocial behaviour, “employability” and subsequent involvement in education and employment, and the acquisition of practical and other life skills.
In order to keep costs low, we arrange for as much information as possible to be generated via routine monitoring, and we supplement this with primary data-collection using direct interviews and focus groups, and a range of online tools.
Process evaluation – this strand of our research is designed to generate evidence concerning the effectiveness of your programme delivery and to identify any implementation issues, and to help you describe the actual functioning of the components of the programme in the short, medium, and longer term. This strand of our work often involves conducting staged interviews with representatives from key partner agencies during the evaluation period.
Tracking/case study components – in order to add some depth to the results from the outcome and process evaluation strands, we can design, develop, and deliver a set of carefully chosen case studies, highlighting key individual “pathways” for individuals engaging with the project. This provides a unique opportunity for the evaluation to examine “causal chains” in much more detail and to understand some of the factors that might affect the durability of the impacts that we identify in the short and medium terms.
Assessment of costs and benefits – in our view, it is critical for projects to be able to demonstrate what the cost-benefit impacts of their work might be. We use a set of bespoke tools that we have developed to generate “cost-benefit timelines” for individual participants. This involves detailing inputs and impacts over time for individual case studies, and using carefully chosen cost estimates drawn from approved sources, to assign values into the model, for:
This component of our work has the potential to generate important indicative conclusions about the cost-benefit impacts and social value of our partners’ projects and programmes.
Our team members have between them many years’ experience in:
Our evaluation work is led by:
Jonathan leads the company’s Research and Evaluation team. He has been delivering and evaluating change programmes in the private, public and charity sectors since 2014. He is also a Research Associate at University of West London, where he is studying at a Doctoral level, what interventions work in reducing and preventing violence as well as undertaking research focusing on violence, young people, gang activity, exploitation, and London’s evolving drug markets.
Mark has run his own evaluation company (ARCS Ltd) over the last 25 years which has designed and delivered over 200 project and programme evaluations with most of these focusing on offending and young people. Mark has overseen ground-breaking studies such as the Beyond Youth Custody and ‘Wasted Lives’ research (Liddle, M. 1998 “Wasted Lives” – Counting the cost of juvenile offending – London: Princes Trust/Nacro) His team has pioneered the design and use of innovative new research tools and methods, including tools for measuring changes in key dimensions of emotional wellbeing, and for allowing service providers to estimate unit costs for particular groups of clients, and an approach for costing individual case studies and extrapolating to wider cohorts. In work on trauma and offending, Mark has experience of undertaking research focusing on trauma and young offenders, establishing key features of trauma-informed practice for practitioners, and providing guidance to practitioners about trauma in the backgrounds of young offenders.
ARCS and We Can Work It Out Ltd, have a strong established working relationship which has developed over the course of delivering three separate pieces of research, focusing on violence, young people, gang activity, exploitation, and drug markets.
The wider team
The Evaluation team comprises experienced research staff, data and business analysts, project and programme managers and legal advisers.
Despite specialising in evaluation studies of projects and programmes in the criminal justice sector and public health approaches to violence and crime reduction, the team also has experience of evaluating wider projects and change programmes, If you would like to discuss how we can use our expertise to support you, please get in touch.
For free initial and confidential advice on evaluation, or to discuss establishing an evaluation partnership with us, please contact us by: