Monday, June 20, 2016

Reading Hack evaluation interim report

Reading Hack is an innovative Reading Agency programme funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. Launched in 2015, the programme works with young people aged 13-24 across England to create opportunities for reading-inspired activity, volunteering roles and peer-to-peer reading advocacy.

This is the interim report from a three year evaluation of Reading Hack to understand its impact on the young people and organisations taking part, as well as exploring more widely what works when engaging young people with reading.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

New evaluation of STEM Learning Triple Science Support Programme

We have just completed a two-year evaluation project for STEM Learning (a national body providing schools with continuous professional development in science, technology, engineering, and maths), looking into the impact of the Triple Science Support Programme (TSSP) in 2014-2016. The TSSP supports schools to develop their triple science provision at GCSE level. In our evaluation we spoke to teachers and delivery staff, and found that the TSSP has helped schools make considerable improvements in their triple science provision. We found the project had a range of positive impacts, including raising subject teachers’ confidence; improving science departments’ capacity and capability to teach triple science; and outcomes for students such as improved motivation, and progress and attainment in triple science. Download the full report here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Evaluation of the Reducing Social Isolation and Loneliness Grant Programme

Social isolation and loneliness in older people is a widespread issue that has gained much attention in recent years. We know that being isolated and lonely can impact on a person’s quality of life and lead to more intensive use of health and social care services.  

In Manchester the three Clinical Commissioning Groups provided grant funding targeted to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst Manchester residents aged 50+. Grants were awarded to voluntary sector organisations to deliver 27 projects across the city. The Programme ran from September 2014 until March 2016 and was managed by Manchester Community Central (Macc).

OPM was commissioned to evaluate the Grant Programme. The evaluation sought to demonstrate outcomes and provide evidence around ‘what works and why’.

This presentation was delivered at the final Programme celebration event attended by representatives from the CCGs, other North West CCGs, Manchester City Council, Macc, local research organisations, plus VCS leads and volunteers from across the city. It presents the headline findings from the evaluation and showcases two projects in depth. Our final evaluation report will be available in the coming months.

Click here to download the presentation slides.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Evaluation of the Reducing Social Isolation and Loneliness Grant Programme

Social isolation and loneliness in older people is a widespread issue that has gained much attention in recent years. We know that being isolated and lonely can impact on a person’s quality of life and lead to more intensive use of health and social care services.

In Manchester the three Clinical Commissioning Groups provided grant funding targeted to reduce social isolation and loneliness amongst Manchester residents aged 50+. Grants were awarded to voluntary sector organisations to deliver 27 projects across the city. The Programme ran from September 2014 until March 2016 and was managed by Manchester Community Central (Macc).

OPM was commissioned to evaluated the Grant Programme. The evaluation sought to demonstrate outcomes and provide evidence around ‘what works and why’.

This presentation was delivered at the final Programme celebration event attended by representatives from the CCGs, other North West CCGs, Manchester City Council, Macc, local research organisations, plus VCS leads and volunteers from across the city. It presents the headline findings from the evaluation and showcases two projects in depth. Our final evaluation report will be available in the coming months.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust

The British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust (BSLBT) was established to increase the amount of sign-presented programming on digital terrestrial television. It commissions content made in BSL by Deaf people for Deaf people and offers an alternative for broadcasters in meeting requirements for the provision of sign language on their channels.

In November 2014 BSLBT commissioned OPM to conduct a review on the Deaf audience in the UK – people whose first or preferred language is British Sign Language. The purpose of this research was to understand more about the highly marginalised Deaf community, with regards to demographics and language use, as well as life issues such as integration into the wider world, health status and access to health services, and use and views of television and the internet. The findings will assist BSLBT in using its resources cost effectively to provide future television programming for the Deaf community. It is also hoped the report will add to the wider world’s understanding of the life experience of Deaf people and the issues Deaf people face.

You can download the executive summary, full report, and appendices on this page. You can also watch a BSL version of the executive summary on the BSLBT website.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Evaluation of the Multi-Systemic Therapy Social Impact Bond

Evaluation of the Essex Multi-Systemic Therapy Social Impact Bond

Essex County Council (ECC) Family Operations Service currently provides access to Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST) to young people who meet the referral criteria. This service is aimed at supporting young people and their families where there is a risk of a young person entering care (which also includes young people remanded into custody), and has the intention of keeping the young person within the family home whenever it is safe to do so. This service is being funded via a Social Impact Bond (SIB) and is being delivered by an external provider.

In 2013 OPM were commissioned to deliver a three-year independent evaluation of the MST SIB, using funding from Central Government.

The evaluation will generate:

The evaluation involves capturing both qualitative and quantitative data. This is the first of two interim reports and presents the findings from the first eighteen months of evaluation activities. The evaluation will run until March 2016, culminating in a final summative report.

Monday, September 21, 2015

OPM continues social impact bonds knowledge sharing relationship with Japanese universities

Earlier this month we were delighted to welcome an SIB research delegation led by Meiji University back to OPM.

The visit is the latest development in the partnership supporting a 5 year empirical study funded by the Japanese Government into how social impact investments, especially SIBs, affect governments, social service providers, service users, and the standard of social services in the UK – further evidence of the interest internationally in the progression of the UK social impact bonds market since the world’s first was implemented in Peterborough Prison 5 years ago.

The delegation first visited OPM last November to hear about our experiences evaluating the Essex County Council SIB and ‘Peninsula LIST’ project, and continuing the relationship in April OPM’s Director of Business Development Dr Chih Hoong Sin spoke at the 2015 Social Investing and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Forum, held at Meiji University in Tokyo – presenting his observations of the nature of the ‘first wave’ of UK SIBs and the lessons to be learned from the world’s most developed market.

OPM’s expertise, it is hoped, will contribute to the launch of the 1st Japanese social impact bond.

This latest meeting was particularly timely. At the time of writing the UK still accounts for the largest number of SIBs globally (31), having been the first to pioneer the pay-for-performance vehicle that leverages private funding to finance public services five years ago. In addition, Social Finance had recently announced details of the first UK social impact bonds to perform above expectations and deliver outcomes sufficient to return investor capital earlier than expected. 

Yet the international backdrop is more mixed.

The Riker’s Island SIB, which aimed to reduce recidivism among 16 to 18-year-olds who entered New York City’s Rikers prison by at least 10% had been terminated due to failing to achieve the agreed targets, while a new report from the Brookings Institute (Chih Hoong Sin is referenced as a study participant on page 52 and OPM’s evaluation of the Essex Family Therapy SIB features on page 84) this summer called for increased transparency and knowledge sharing on the potential and limitations of impact bonds to move this agenda – how to better ensure the achievement of outcomes for vulnerable populations – forward.

In this context we were in a position to update our Japanese colleagues on the progress of our evaluation of the ‘Essex SIB’ – the first in the world to be commissioned by a local authority – and the ‘Peninsula LIST Project’, that aimed to use an SIB as vehicle to commission public services across 4 local authorities in the South West of England.

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If you would like to find out more about OPM’s evaluations of the ‘Essex SIB’ and ‘Peninsula LIST’ projects, please contact Chih Hoong Sin, Director of Business Development at CSin@opm.co.uk or on 0207 239 7877.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Evaluation Framework led by OPM’s Heather Heathfield selected to highlight impact made by UK academic Computer Science Research in new report

The Project Review and Objective Evaluation (PROBE) toolkit led by OPM’s Dr Heather Heathfield has been selected by the UK Computing Research Committee (UKCRC), Council of Professors and Heads of Computing (CPHC) and British Computer Society (BCS) Academy as a case study for a new report highlighting the impact made by UK academic Computer Science Research over the period 2008 – 2013.

Designed initially to identify the barriers that prevented the NHS from adopting electronic health records, PROBE is based on a six step evaluation process, in which decision makers would be asked to agree on why an evaluation was needed; when; what and how to evaluate; analyse and report and finally to assess recommendations and decide on a course of action. Since its revised publication in 2001, PROBE has sparked the NHS to look at evaluation as a key strand of major IT projects, and has become a central part of NHS information strategy and policy.

Overview of the Evaluation Process

In 2012, NHS Connecting for Health’s Head of Patient and Public Partnerships praised Dr Heathfield’s work as having “greatly improved understanding of ICT projects” by focusing analysis on the important questions, and providing more information on the tools and techniques available for effective evaluation.

The PROBE methodology is still widely used in the UK. For example, it was employed by the National Patient Safety Agency to evaluate systems designed to improve the safety of blood transfusions.

The full interview with Dr Heathfield can be found in Chapter 6 of ‘The Impact made by UK Academic Computer Science Research’ report.

 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Identifying and recruiting participants for health research

A public dialogue for the Health Research Authority

The Health Research Authority (HRA) in conjunction with Sciencewise commissioned OPM Group to run a public dialogue on identifying and recruiting participants for health research. The final report is available to download.

The specific objectives of the dialogue were:

1. To inform the development of the HRA’s new UK wide Policy Framework to replace the Research Governance Framework and its associated operational guidance.

2. To provide opportunities for members of the public and patients to discuss and explore their aspirations and concerns about the governance of health research in relation to recruitment, data and consent, especially:

a. How patient data might be used in order to invite people to join research studies and who participants think should be allowed to access patient records in order to check eligibility

Patient Record Access

 

b. Different models for approaching potential research study participants including consenting to being approached directly about research

Recruiting Patients For Health Research – Participant Vox Pops

 

c. The plan to develop simplified models of consent for simple and efficient clinical trials of already licensed drugs and other interventions in common use.

Simplified Consent

 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Evaluation of AQuA’s Leading Integrated System Level Change Programme

The Advancing Quality Alliance (AQuA) is a membership quality improvement organisation supporting NHS and social care commissioners, providers and their partners.

In April 2014, AQuA began delivery of a new support programme ‘Leading Integrated System Level Change 2014/15’. The programme was designed to meet member requests for support to collaboratively lead system integration, as they moved towards and progressed with the implementation of integrated care.

OPM was commissioned to undertake an independent evaluation of the programme that commenced in May 2014 and ran until May 2015. The aims of the evaluation were to provide an understanding of how the model and elements of the programme supported large scale system change, and to explore the transferability of the model to other system level reforms.

OPM evaluation leads worked with AQuA Faculty leads to co-produce the detailed evaluation themes, evaluation framework and methodology. The evaluation drew on economy applications to the programme, the workshop evaluations completed after each master class, and AQuA’s System Integration Framework Assessment Tool data. OPM also undertook two waves of fieldwork with participating economies.