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Date 13 Nov 2018

Time 10 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.


All those involved in work to improve social outcomes want to know that the projects and interventions put in place achieve results and improve the lives of people and their communities.

Measuring outcomes is at the heart of those contracts where payment is dependent on results. However, measuring a set of defined outcomes does not always equate with measuring the impact of that particular project. Would the same results have been achieved in the absence of the intervention? Can the observed impact be reliably attributed to the intervention or were there other factors at play? How can a formal impact evaluation be incorporated within the payment-by-results mechanism? What are the practical constraints to commissioning robust evaluations and how can these be overcome? These are some of the questions that we will address in this session.

About the session

This session will explore the key considerations that practitioners need to take into account when commissioning evaluations of their outcomes-based projects, particularly social impact bonds (SIBs). The session will provide a wealth of practical guidance for those involved in the design, commissioning and implementation of projects, including:

  • Practical advice for practitioners around scoping the remit of their project evaluation, and setting out the rationale for evaluation
  • An overview of how different approaches might be relevant for assessing different evaluation questions
  • Practical tips for developing an evaluation strategy and some key principles for good evaluation
  • Reflections on how practitioners can use the evidence generated through their project evaluation to improve policy and decision-making

About the speakers

Eleanor Carter is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the GO Lab will be hosting the discussion. She will be joined by three speakers and will be taking questions from the online audience.

Clare Fitzgerald is a Research Fellow at the GO Lab. She completed her PhD in Public Administration from North Carolina State University in 2016. Her research focuses on performance measurement and management, using information in decision making and innovative studies. At the GO Lab completes research and evaluations into SIBs and outcomes based contracts and often gives advice to practitioners on evaluations.

Chih Hoong Sin is Director of Social Innovation and Social Investment at Traverse. He is also a GO Lab Fellow of Practice. He has a breadth of experience supporting commissioners design and develop all aspects of SIBs including evaluations. He has worked with local authorities, providers and beneficiaries across the health, social care and education sector. 

Mark Tuckett is Assistant Director of Public Service Reform at Sheffield City Council. He has held this position for over two years and has had previous roles in the Council focusing on improving policy and performance. He has also held the position of Head of Impact at Camfed, an international NGO.

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