Evaluation and Consultancy
“It’s been a fascinating experience working with Jo, whose evaluation of our work in children’s
critical care has given us enough learning and insight to reflect on for the next decade!”
Measuring The Unmeasurable...
Understanding and evidencing progressions in social and emotional competencies and wellbeing – and their wider impacts – is notoriously challenging;
How do we know that we’re improving social competence, self-esteem and other ‘soft’ skills?
How do we measure the impact of person-centred practice or trauma-informed approaches? How do we prove those changes? How do we articulate those in ways that will be taken seriously?
If you relate, help is at hand! We support all kinds of agencies to lead their planning and delivery, not just their evaluation process, with these questions at the heart.
Wherever, and however long for you may want our input, we help you to define realistic and meaningful outcomes with measurable indicators, and to evidence them!
Below are a few examples of how we do just that…
We’re working with East Midlands agency TMC which advocates for the role that creativity can play in young people’s education and development.
We’re leading the evaluation of an action research programme across three schools, which aims to understand the impact of strengthening belonging, personal agency and a sense of self on young people’s engagement in school.
The evaluation framework that we’re developing incorporates observation and self-assessment tools, which will then be adopted by schools and other settings to enable them to simply, creatively and reliably measure emotional growth, and its resultant impact on children’s learning capacity.
We’ve partnered with Action for Children’s Arts, as part of their national programme, ‘Arts Backpack’.
We firstly helped to define the project’s outcomes and indicators, and then designed a bank of self-assessment tools for children and teachers accordingly.
For most participants, English is an additional language, so the tools; which measure six wellbeing competencies, attitudinal change, and skills development; enable children to record their progress creatively and non-verbally, in ways which the outcomes can not only be simply and reliably, decoded, but translated into easy-to-understand numerical and statistical data.
We’re working with Attenborough Arts Centre, part of the University of Leicester, to build an evaluation framework for ‘SENsory Atelier’; a four year programme bringing arts pedagogy to young people across a number of SEN and SEMH (Social, Emotional & Mental Health) and hospital school settings.
With this, we’re helping the project record impacts for participants whose diverse abilities and needs mean they may not be able to communicate and express their experience of the programme in a verbal or otherwise reliable way.
Arts in Health Care
In recent years we’ve evaluated a number of Music in Healthcare programmes, such as ‘Wishing Well‘ and ‘Mind The Music‘.
Wishing Well brings musical interaction to bedsides in the Critical Care wards at Brighton’s Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital.
As many of the children are very poorly babies, have complex needs and disabilities, or may have experienced serious injury and trauma, it can be incredibly hard to measure the outcomes, which is the focus for our report ‘In an Octopus’s Garden’.
The report also interrogates the skills the musicians need to practice in such an emotionally fragile environment, and we developed a subsequent ‘Competency Framework’, now published by the Youth Music Network. Read more here.
‘Mind the Music’ is a partnership between London based ‘Community Music’ and CAMHS (Children & Mental Health Service).
We created a range of evaluation tools for participants with a very broad spectrum of mental health need, from acute residential care to those leaving support.
These tools were designed to help Community Music evaluate the three year programme in-house, thus negating the ongoing need for an external evaluator.
“Jo helped us to understand much more about what is actually going on beneath the surface in our musical interactions with children and families. By understand more, we can practice and advocate with greater confidence and clarity.”
Jo White, Wishing Well Programme Manager
Our prices inevitably vary according to the nature, complexity, length and location of the programmes.
Often our partners already have a defined budget for consultancy or evaluation, in which case we can design our input accordingly.
We work with you to gain a clear understanding of your needs, so we can do our best to work within your available resources.
Just contact us to discuss your whatever plans or ideas you have at the moment, even if you’re still unsure what you need and whether we can help.