Evaluating the Impact of CLD – invitation to discussion

At its recent meeting CLDMS members discussed the report ‘Evaluating the Impact of CLD on National and Local Outcomes‘ produced by Blake Stevenson for Learning and Teaching Scotland (now Education Scotland)  and CLDMS. The report outlines five ‘strategic choices’. CLDMS is keen to ask all members and other interested parties to think about and comment on these choices:

  • do we want to see greater consistency across Scotland in evidencing impact?
  • do we want to evidence the impact of CLD as a whole entity or is it enough to evidence the three elements separately?
  • do we want impact to be evidenced across partners?
  • where and how can the qualitative impact of CLD best be captured: is it through the SOA or is it through some other vehicle?
  • how do areas which are further behind with evidencing outcomes and impact get supported?

Please respond to this post to join in the dialogue.

You may also want to comment on the recommendations that the report then makes:

a. In order to support greater consistency across Scotland (so that the impact at national level can be assessed) we suggest the following:

–              the creation of a simple and clear CLD Action Plan template, showing sample outcomes for youthwork, adult learning and CCB;

–              an event to share practice based on this report; and

–              further upskilling inputs in relation to outcomes, outputs and interventions.

b.       In order to maintain the impact of CLD as an entity we suggest that each area is encouraged to prepare a CLD Plan that shows clearly what the outcomes are, how they link to the area’s own outcomes and how they will be evidenced.  This should include how each key partner will contribute to this evidencing process.

c.       We believe it is essential to evidence impact across partners if CLD Partnerships are to demonstrate real added value.  In areas where the local authority has established good MIS this should be extended to partners with appropriate capacity building to help them use it. (Should there be any further Upskilling funding for CLD this might be an area worth funding.)  “Partners” should include internal Council partners such as education and housing.

d.       Reporting on the SOA (in its current format) is only ever going to be able to capture a limited amount of mainly quantitative information.  We think the use of HMIe Learning Community reports, where these provide Very Good/Excellent results should be further used to help senior managers, local politicians and national politicians understand what it is that CLD does. This requires careful communication and PR work.

e.       There are clearly some local authority areas which are further behind than others in this process of evidencing outcomes.  LTS/HMIe should consider how best these can be supported. One way is to encourage more sharing between neighbouring areas: this has already happened to some extent in the Upskilling programme with regard to the alliances formed around training and capacity development.  How can this sharing be supported through central bodies?

f.       Areas which do not have a good electronic system for gathering and storing evidence should be assisted to undertake the processes that lead to this being put in place.

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