Consultant for Programme Evaluation

19th October, 2022 Read time: 6 min

Expression of Interest

Futures is an Ofsted rated ‘Outstanding’ provider with over 20 years’ experience delivering Employment, Skills and Career Services to vulnerable young people and adults.

For our Future Impact programme funded through a DDCMS Social Investment Bond, the Life Chances Fund, as well as Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council, we are seeking to appoint independent consultants to undertake an evaluation of the performance of the programme.

Future Impact

The Future Impact programme works with young people aged 15-24 across Nottingham and Nottinghamshire that are not in education, employment or training (NEET) or still in full-time education but identified as being at risk of NEET (RONI). 

It also has a specific focus on SEND (Special Educational Needs and Disabilities), that are not receiving higher levels of support from an EHCP (Education Health and Care Plan) as well as targeting young people that are within the Youth Justice system. Both these groups are overrepresented in the NEET cohorts of Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County

The service supports individuals to overcome barriers and make transitions to and within the labour market helping them to acquire new skills and be resilient in the face of change. 

The programme is Payment by Results with local commissioners funding a social investor that in turn appointed a delivery organisation (Futures) to achieve a number of medium- and long-term goals that have a social impact:

  • Medium-Term Goals: Young people with multiple barriers (e.g., conviction, experience of YJ/probation systems) are supported to enter sustainable employment, to enter and complete suitable education/training courses, develop their wellbeing, independence and stability & reduce their risk of re-offending. 
  • Long-Term Goals: Support YP on a pathway to increase personal development (e.g., emotional resilience, mental wellbeing, safety), achieve practical outcomes (e.g., independence) and work-readiness (e.g., understanding expectations in employment). Ultimate Goals: YP are supported to achieve their potential, to achieve and sustain EET outcomes (i.e., increased retention in EET), enhance their personal development, reduce cycles/negative patterns of behaviour and reduce their risk of re-offending

The overall volumes and outcomes for the project are as follows:

Potential Service Users 4,080
Anticipated beneficiaries  740

 

Outcome No. Description Baseline Target Numbers Outcome Payment
1 Initial Wellbeing Assessment n/a 650 £500
2 Entry in Education or Training Comparison - against similar programmes demonstrates that 10% of young people from the PG1/SEND target group re-enter education/training 226 £500
3 Entry in Employment or Volunteering  Comparison - against similar programmes demonstrates that 10% of young people from the PG1/SEND target group achieve sustainable employment 345 £500

Futures are seeking a consultant to undertake an evaluation of the performance of the programme within the following parameters:

Evaluation Aim

The evaluation will: 

  1. Identify best practice in supporting young people with greater complexity of need and higher support needs to achieve learning and work outcomes
  2. Identify best practice in funding models to inform future commissioning of projects of this nature.
  3. Identify effective and value for money approaches to supporting the target group that achieves high quality outcomes for clients 
  4. Engage stakeholders and commissioners, including but not exclusive to the two commissioners engaged with the project, in order to identify sustainable sources of funding to continue the Future Impact model beyond the life of the LCF programme 
  5. In support of (4) to build an evidence base to support the identification of cashable savings that would provide ongoing funding for the Future Impact model 
  6. Collect an evidence base to support the efficacy of early/intense intervention and support models in engaging and preventing young people with complex needs from remaining long-term NEET 
  7. Engage supporting partners and organisations, including health and social care providers in a holistic and intensive approach to supporting young people with greater complexity of need into employment 
  8. Engage social investor(s) in both supporting the Future Impact model and potentially in supporting future programmes. 
  9. Give recommendations for ways greater impact could be demonstrated in the project

 

Evaluation Comparators 

We will use the following sources as a baseline to measure the success of the project: 

  1. Historic data of the performance of the same client group when supported by the 'lighter touch' NEET prevention programme delivered by Futures in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire. 
  2. Current data of the performance of beneficiaries of the same age who do not demonstrate sufficiently high complexity of need to require support from Future Impact. This group is supported by Futures' current NEET prevention offer. 
  3. Publicly available data providing NEET and Not Known data will be used as an overall baseline  
  4. We will also share data with Nottingham and Nottinghamshire's SEND support service to measure progress, particularly against distance travelled and personal development milestones. 
  5. We will compare performance with that of previous programmes which target a similar beneficiary group using an outcome-based, payment-by-results model. 
  6. As the Area Based Provider for the National Careers Service, we will use both historic and current data of performance of NCS Priority Groups which are broadly comparable with the target beneficiary group of Future Impact. 

 

Evaluation Indicators: The indicators to be used to evaluate the programme 

Futures manages a bespoke management information system in order to deliver the NEET prevention service on behalf of Nottingham City and Nottinghamshire County Council. These systems offer a very flexible and powerful suite of reporting tools, which both commissioner and delivery organisation are familiar with. Clients co-produce a Personal Development Plan with their Future Impact Careers Coach, setting out individual aspirations and goals. These are regularly reviewed to chart progress. There is 1:1 dialogue between Navigators and clients and group sessions to inform service priorities and delivery. Futures has developed Impact Success Measures for soft outcomes/distance travelled to evidence how the project increases confidence and resilience, measure satisfaction level and recommend changes This system is used to monitor Future Impact beneficiaries.  

Overall impact of the project will be measured through an Impact Assessment and a Social Return on Investment assessment. 

 

Evaluation Scope

Working with our operations, quality, and management information teams, you will identify a sample of beneficiaries and collect robust qualitative and quantitative evidence, to identify successful interventions, inform best practice, and the design of future interventions. 

To support scaling and spreading the innovation you will develop a structured dissemination strategy to include completion of a recommendation report to senior commissioners, elected members, policy makers and stakeholders in Nottingham City Council and Nottinghamshire County Council. 

We plan to publish the results of the evaluation and examples of best practice through wider networks, through local government networks and the voluntary sector

The full scope of the evaluation is as follows:

  1. Develop an evaluation process based on our robust data collection and management information systems, which record quantitative outputs/outcomes in order to assess whether the project is achieving its stated performance objectives and delivering positive outcomes for the target cohort. 
  2. Carry out further assessment to determine whether the programme is achieving its wider objectives of developing and promoting a new way of working with the local authority through the delivery of this project via a PBR/SIB model. 
  3. Undertake a qualitative assessment of the impact of Future Impact programmes on individual young people. This will be achieved through social return on investment analyses, consultation, case studies and interviews of the young people who are receiving support through the scaled service, to identify the personal value of the support the young people are receiving and the outcomes of achieved by young people accessing the service. 

 

EOI

Please return your form in Word document format. Once completed the form should be sent electronically to Alerts@the-futures-group.com to arrive by 23:59 on the 6th November 2022.

Please send any clarification questions to Alerts@the-futures-group.com. All responses to these will be published at www.futuresforyou.com/future-impact-evaluation.html#questions. All questions and responses will be fully anonymised. The final day to submit clarifications is 31st October 2022.

Please be advised that any EOIs that are incomplete or submitted after the deadline will not be evaluated.

Clarification Questions

Q1: Please could you provide an idea of the budget (excluding VAT) for this work?

A1: Indicative budget has quite a wide range £10K - £25K excl. VAT. While price will be taken into account, the selection panel will be actually looking for value for money so if a tenderer makes a strong qualitative case for an evaluation cost towards the top of the range, it wouldn’t necessarily make their bid uncompetitive

Q2: We note within the scope of this evaluation we will be working with Futures’ operations, quality, and management information teams. As part of this, what information or data will be shared with the winning bidder regarding successful interventions and the identification of beneficiaries?

A2: The information to be shared with the winning bidder is as follows: Performance data, impact data,  outcome against profile data, equal ops data (ethnicity, gender, disability and multiple health needs etc),4 years of survey responses, 4 years of case studies, 2 previous research evaluations by Nottingham Uni students (2019 and 2020), 1 international GoLab case study,  focus groups customer and staff responses, access to focus groups, customers, staff or parents and carers of customers if required, access to steering group, and commissioners

Q3: What is the overall level of funding associated with the Future Impact programme?  (Have noted the underpinning PBR/SIB arrangements and wondered if a core level of funding exists to fund service provision to offset the time delays associated with attainment of outcomes)

A3:  The full project value breaks down as follows:

  • Total value £2,547,850.
  • LCF Fund 35% = £891,747 (SIB element)
  • City Council Fund 32.5% = £828,051.25
  • County Council Fund 32.5% =£828,051.25

The mechanism works as follows:
The social investor (SASC) pays an initial service fee to the delivery organisation (Futures) for the first quarter of delivery. The delivery organisation then makes quarterly claims to the commissioners (LCF/City Council/County Council). The two Councils play a flat amount (65% of funding), but the LCF make outcome/performance based payments to the delivery organisation (35%). At the point at which the delivery organisation achieves over and above an agreed set of outcomes, it begins passing outcome payments to the social investor. Assuming the profile is achieved the social investor makes a profit through these outcome payments on their initial service fee contribution. Therefore the risk is taken by the social investor, rather than the commissioners.

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