To help policy makers and programme managers improve evaluation and think practically about how they can get it embedded at programme design stage, we have provided a number of case studies across our policy areas. Below we give two examples where an innovation policy intervention has been evaluated for its impact on local economic growth. (Read about our approach to this policy here).
Each evaluation case study has met our minimum standard of evidence, which means it (at least) compares what changed for the businesses that benefited from an intervention with what changed over the same time frame for otherwise comparable businesses that didn’t benefit, or that received a different type of intervention.
The case studies below use statistical approaches for achieving this comparison. One of the case studies below uses a randomised control trial (RCT) design; the other uses statistical approaches for achieving this comparison. The limitations of this RCT in practice means it may be best treated as a statistical design instead. These approaches try to ‘strip out’ the impact of the other factors that could have affected outcomes in both the beneficiary group and the comparator group.
Evaluation need not be a very technical exercise and it can be helpful to borrow from the approaches adopted in existing studies. Read more about how to evaluate, and why we think it can be helpful to plagiarise in our How to Evaluate series. You can also read up on a number of different evaluation methods in our scoring guide to help you both judge other evaluations, and make a decision about which method to use.
This study evaluates the UK ‘Creative Credits’ programme, a pilot which provided small and medium-size businesses (SMEs) with vouchers to spend on creative services such as website design or advertising. Read more.
This study looks at the impact on firm performance of collaboration with public research centres. Read more.
This study looks at the impact on firm performance of public support for innovation. Read more.