Evaluation of Where It's @


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Paul Ticher provides an evaluation of the project to improve the performance of small advice agencies tghrough the uce of ICT, at the Bright Ideas conference in Newham November 3 2006

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Evaluation of Where It's @

  1. 1. “ Where IT’s @”: Evaluation Paul Ticher 2006 [email_address]
  2. 2. The aim of the project <ul><li>To improve the performance of small advice agencies, through the use of ICT </li></ul>
  3. 3. What did it provide? <ul><li>Software (case recording, benefits calculations, electronic information) </li></ul><ul><li>Training </li></ul><ul><li>Consultancy and technical support </li></ul><ul><li>Broadband provision </li></ul>
  4. 4. Challenges for the project <ul><li>Turbulence (9 agencies left, 9 joined, 11 stayed throughout) </li></ul><ul><li>Changes within agencies — moving premises, changes in funding, activities and staff </li></ul><ul><li>Changes in project funding, so that the package on offer had to change </li></ul><ul><li>Technical developments, especially the rapid increase in availability of broadband </li></ul>
  5. 5. The software <ul><li>Case recording (AIMS) is a triumph in 6 out of the 10 agencies using it </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits calculation fills a specific role — and does this well </li></ul><ul><li>Use of electronic information depends on personal preference </li></ul>
  6. 6. What the managers say: <ul><li>“ AIMS is very, very useful. It gives an up to date daily record …” </li></ul><ul><li>“ AIMS … has improved our recording and given us more information. We [also] think more about data capture.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We use statistics in funding bids and in targeting service delivery — we noticed take-up of a particular service was poor among elderly black people and took steps to address that.” </li></ul>
  7. 7. Other parts of the package <ul><li>Technical support has been well received </li></ul><ul><li>Most agencies’ are using ICT more confidently than before the project </li></ul><ul><li>Most training was rated good or excellent </li></ul><ul><li>Agencies felt supported by the project administration </li></ul><ul><li>Broadband provision was problematic, but most difficulties are now resolved </li></ul>
  8. 8. Overall impact <ul><li>The package was well planned and well delivered </li></ul><ul><li>The project made a tangible difference in at least ten agencies </li></ul><ul><li>In some of these it has transformed the agency </li></ul><ul><li>The key to success is management commitment </li></ul><ul><li>ICT is not the whole story to improved capacity, but it can be a key part </li></ul>
  9. 9. Managers’ assessments <ul><li>“ We are absolutely positive about the project. It is the type of capacity-building that works” </li></ul><ul><li>“ We would have got there, but not as thoroughly and not as well” </li></ul><ul><li>“ It made all the difference. Without Where IT's @ we would still just be word processing on old equipment” </li></ul><ul><li>“ Where IT's @ has helped up our game … as part of a raft of initiatives” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Some lessons for future projects <ul><li>Plan for turbulence </li></ul><ul><li>Run a rolling programme </li></ul><ul><li>Good ICT support boosts confidence </li></ul><ul><li>People differ in their attitudes to ICT and electronic information </li></ul><ul><li>You can’t shy away from technical risks </li></ul>