Evaluation of the National and Regional Empowerment Partnership Teleconference agenda Collective
About the evaluation <ul><li>DATA STREAMS </li></ul>On line survey 180 respondents so far 14 National partnership members interviewed Questions we have for you now 21 regional partnership members interviewed Data from activities run at the national meeting on March 4 Interactive learning exchange April 2 nd 2008 10.30 – 4.30 Institute of Education, London Existing data and more Collective
Agenda for this teleconference Membership of the regional partnerships Structure of the national partnership Measures of “good” practice Planning the next stages of the project Main purpose of the teleconference – to test recommendations emerging from the findings so far.
Section 1 Membership of regional partnerships “ Not the usual crowd. Who is sitting there? For example, wouldn’t it be good to have the organizers of the local Asian football club as well as one of the 20 staff at the local infrastucture organization” “ The steering group should form a membership base which elects people who are prepared to be accountable and its clear who they are accountable to - otherwise it’s a group of people in the know sitting round a table carving up the money” “ Its good because there are a few members without a vested interest on the consortium. The membership needs to be widened. We have tried to involve RIEP, there has been no attendance and no communication. I asked them why that was and they said they were trying to do too much. We’ve done our best to get the word out but it’s the tip of the iceberg” Question: How should the REPs develop their membership?
Section 2 NEP structure Confusion about the role of the national partnership is mentioned frequently by people interviewed: “ It’s a difficult structure at the moment which doesn’t make sense. The national work cuts across what is happening in the regions” “ The national NEP has never had a clear vision” “ At the moment, NEP don’t know what they are there for”
Proposal for the national partnership role <ul><li>External role </li></ul><ul><li>Advocacy for community empowerment to CLG and other government departments </li></ul><ul><li>Internal role </li></ul><ul><li>Co-ordination </li></ul><ul><li>Information sharing </li></ul><ul><li>Initiating debate </li></ul><ul><li>Capture and disseminate learning </li></ul>“ They need to collate all the information from Government, co-ordinate it all and co-ordinate responses to it. It’s a translation job really” What do you think of the proposal for NEP steering group’s role? “ They need to co-ordinate the themes that overarch the regions, for example we are doing something on barriers to community engagement – we don’t need separate studies to know about that. They should look at things that aren’t particular to the regions” What don’t they do? No national projects!
CLG’s role Question: If you agree that CLG needs to be a more equal partner, how can that be brought about? “ The important thing is the independence (of the NEP), this isn’t impossible even with CLG as a partner, but they need to be a partner, we need to ensure that there is an honest, critical, constructive dialogue. But there is a bit of a danger that we are equal partners in theory but in reality, CLG holds sway” “ The ministerial support has been massively important” “ The whole structure has been developed to the government’s tune .. Its been very top down and they frequently change their minds” “ The interest from CLG has been a bit of a blessing and curse – I think they influenced it more than they should have”
CDF’s role managing the project “ CDF have been good at protecting the partnership and have prioritised moving forward together rather than quickly. Though it hasn’t felt empowering to members, the aspiration is genuine.” “ I think CDF have had a difficult job to do and they have not been able to do it in the way that they would have wanted and the trouble is that the frustrations are being aimed at them”. “ CDF need to take on more of a co-ordinating role” “ I would far rather feel they were clearer about their role” What would help CDF to manage the project more smoothly?
Section 3 Measures In the phrase “good practice”, how is “good” measured? Especially when there are many different interpretations of community empowerment. There are many that still need to be persuaded that community empowerment is worth the effort and for them, the simpler the indicators, the more measurable, the more “robust” they are the better. For practitioners, there are many different ways of measuring success and the issue is how to find out about the different systems and which ones to choose that they have confidence in and are relevant to them. This would lead to a wide range of evaluation and quality assurance systems and indicators.
Quotes on measuring “good” There are some fairly strong feelings about using NI4 as an indicator: “ The potential for interpretation makes it (NI4) utterly invalid. It depends on what side of bed you got out of ….. I don’t think its going to drive any real work on community empowerment, it will drive a whole marketing campaign to get people to think they have influence ” You need a combination of different types of approaches. There is a lot of discussion about NI 4 which is one measure of perception and its probably the best proxy. Measuring is definitely difficult. There are two further questions – what are the proportion of decisions that are influenced by local people and secondly whether that is a better decision or not . Question: How can the different views on evaluation been accommodated in the partnership?
Using measures <ul><li>In the on line survey, we asked about the extent to which people agreed with this statement: </li></ul><ul><li>“ I use a set of measures to indicate community empowerment” </li></ul><ul><li>They were asked to scale their answer from 1 (not at all) to 10 (very much so) </li></ul>Level of agreement Number of responses What is your interpretation of this chart?
Section 4 planning How could you plan year 2 so that there can be continuity for years 3 and 4 if the funding is agreed? If year 3 and 4 funding is not agreed, what do you think will still be happening and going forward? What evaluation process are you planning to use in year 2 of the project?