The Big Lottery Fund has commissioned a team lead by the University of Sheffield and CFE Research to carry out a national evaluation of the Fulfilling lives: supporting people with multiple needs initiative. You can find out more about the team here.

The evaluation has the following aims:

  • To track and assess the achievements of the initiative and to estimate the extent to which these are attributable to the projects and interventions delivered.
  • To calculate the costs of the projects and the value of benefits to the exchequer and wider society.
  • To identify what interventions and approaches work well, for which people and in what circumstances.
  • To assess the extent to which the Big Lottery Fund’s principles are incorporated into project design and delivery and to work out the degree to which these principles influence success.
  • To explore how projects are delivered, understand problems faced and to help identify solutions and lessons learned.

Underpinning all of these objectives and cutting across all areas of the evaluation is a commitment to meaningful involvement of service users and other stakeholders and sharing findings and learning throughout.

The evaluation is using a range of methods to gather evidence throughout the eight years that projects are being delivered. A common data framework has been agreed so that the same set of information is collected from every funded project. To complement this we are carrying out face-to-face surveys with project beneficiaries at key intervals. Detailed interviews with lead-partners, stakeholders and beneficiaries will help us to understand more about how projects are being delivered and their impact.

We are also collecting data from people with multiple needs in other parts of the country that have not received the Big Lottery investment. This will allow us to compare what has been achieved by the projects with what might have happened anyway without the funding. You can find out more about the organisations that are supporting this aspect of the evaluation soon.

Findings and learning from the evaluation are communicated in a range of ways, including inspiration and ideas, evaluation findings, practice guides, briefings, and events.

Learning is a central element of the initiative. The learning programme includes:

  • Communities of Practice for funded projects
  • A programme of seminars
  • What works / good practice workshops and webinars
  • A biennial conference