How we can help you to evaluate your policy
We run workshops free of charge to increase knowledge of the evidence that exists on local economic growth and to build capacity and interest in helping to grow that evidence by robustly piloting and testing programmes and investments. We can also provide more hands-on support with piloting and evaluating your projects, see the page on evaluation support.
You can access this workshop in one of two ways: either by arranging a bespoke, in-house session for between 6 and 20 individuals in your organisation (which, if you wish, can include your partner organisations and can be tailored to your areas of policy interest), or by sending individual or small groups of officers to one of our open access training sessions. If you would like to discuss which option would be better for you, please do get in touch. The content and structure of the day will be broadly similar in either case.
The first aim of these sessions is to share knowledge we have gathered in the last three years from reviewing the evidence that already exists on the impacts of policies, programmes and investments aiming to drive local employment, productivity and prosperity.
Beyond that, we hope to 'demystify' evaluation to make policy makers more critical consumers of evidence and generators of new evidence, including:
- how to design programmes so that they can be evaluated robustly;
- how to think about a robust counterfactual across different types of policy or programme;
- how to pilot new policy approaches and gain quick feedback to speed up the policy development cycle; and
- how to be smart commissioners of evaluation so that the evidence you get back from consultants tells you something meaningful.
We will talk through case study examples of where local growth policies have been evaluated well, and what we know about where local areas have learned lessons in getting both large and small evaluations off the ground including lessons learned.
Finally, we will outline the support the WWCLEG can provide. Where there is a commitment to high quality evaluation we may be able to offer a range of support including:
- advice on how to design programmes to allow for good evaluation,
- support for developing evaluations (including terms of reference for outside contractors),
- review of tender submissions,
- participation on steering groups or peer review boards, and
- analytical support to carry out evaluations directly.
We hope that in many cases the training workshop will be the starting point of a longer relationship as we aim to build a 'coalition of the willing' to expand our collective understanding of what works better to drive local economic growth.
The training day
You can nominate the participants you feel will get the most out of the day, perhaps a programme team within a local authority, or officers from different departments, or pulling in colleagues from LEPs, Combined Authorities or delivery partners. We usually have a mix of programme and policy officers, delivery partners, senior strategic decision makers, and procurement officers. We can focus content on a single programme or policy area quite intensively or talk across the spectrum of local growth policies. We will come to your area, provide trainers and materials. We will ask you to provide a room and light refreshments and to coordinate participants.
We can adapt the focus of the training day to the particular interests of the group attending but in general the day will cover the following areas in an interactive and participative way:
- an introduction to evaluation and why it is important;
- key points from the evidence reviews about best policies for local growth (broadly broken down into a focus on people, business and place) - and collaborative work with participants to translate some of those findings to their own local context;
- the different methods of evaluation and which might be appropriate including examples of UK policy evaluations and how they worked;
- approaches to experimentation and piloting innovative approaches to provide quicker feedback about what is working best;
- how to be a good commissioner of evaluation: demystifying the jargon, key things to ask for when putting together Invitations to Tender, and in judging responses received;
- how the WWCLEG can support local policymakers to deliver robust evaluation and greater policy experimentation.