Evaluation of the Free Time Consortium
The Free Time Consortium (FTC) has commissioned the Institute for Volunteering Research (IVR) in partnership with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) to evaluate its delivery of the Social Action Fund programme: Get Involved In Play, Love Outdoor Play, FTC Hub. FTC programmes supported by the Social Action Fund aim to collectively promote volunteering opportunities and social action around play spaces and provision, and to encourage and support children and young people to play out more often. As the government’s description of ‘game changers’ implies, FTC’s proposals are ambitious: 100,000 new volunteering opportunities are expected to shape a long-term shift in cultural attitudes.
Working with all 17 members of the FTC involved in the delivery of the Social Action Fund programme across 60 locations in 14 areas, the evaluation will assess the impact of the FTC Get Involved in Play programme, the FTC Hub and the Love Outdoor Play campaign. It will assess how planned outcomes were achieved and, by using bespoke evaluation tools, will enable FTC to continue to measure impact in the future.
This evaluation employs a multidimensional methodology, consisting of three separate but interlinked phases:
Phase one: assessment of planned outcomes
This phase will provide key evidence of the extent to which targets and outcomes have been met. It will include desk research, analysis of quarterly monitoring reports, stakeholder interviews and an online survey.
Phase two: action based learning component
IVR and NCVO will work with all FTC partners in an action-based learning component in which all partners will be trained in the use of the tried and tested ‘Volunteering Impact Assessment Toolkit’. Data collected using the toolkit will be fed back to the evaluation team, while partners will retain the toolkit and benefit from increased capacity in evaluation and impact assessment beyond the life of this evaluation. IVR and NCVO will also work with four organisations as case studies to gather more in-depth data.
Phase three: co-production of recommendations for the future
This will play a crucial role in the development of the final report and examine possible implications for different stakeholders, and develop the recommendations.
- Theory of Change model
- Interim report in November 2012
- All 17 FTC partners will receive training to continue to measure impact in the future
- Final evaluation report in April 2013