Social Security Charter measurement framework: co-design process

The process we undertook to co-develop a measurement framework that will show how well we are preforming against the Social Security Charter.

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3. What was the co-design process?


Over six months (March-August, 2019), Scottish Government staff worked with the participants listed above to shape the content and design of the Measurement Framework; collecting and analysing information, and using these insights to draft the framework. This section of the report describes the practical steps of this co-design work.

Core Group 2 Workshops

A total of seven full-day workshops were held with Core Group 2. All of the workshops took place in an accessible venue in central Scotland, to minimize overall travel. Every effort was taken to break down barriers to participation, including using sign language interpreters and audio describers. All written materials used by the group were made available in accessible formats, for example, large print or different colour contrast, where needed.

This made sure all members could participate as fully as possible. Participants were overwhelmingly satisfied with the way in which the workshops were facilitated; as one group member commented: “It was good to feel we are still able to contribute as a group; the set-up works well and I feel supported by both the staff and the core group.”

Everyone who participated in any of the workshops read and signed a consent
form to say they understood the purpose of the project and were happy to take
part. Whilst not all members of Core Group 2 were able to take part in every
single workshop, events were well attended and the group remained committed
to the work.

The workshops had three main stages of work:

  • capacity building,
  • identifying suitable measures
  • reviewing and revising drafts of the framework

Note that the group worked on devising measures for the first three sections of the Charter – to do with operations and service delivery – and not the fourth which is about policy commitments. Annex B sets out how section four was developed and how Core Group 2 were kept informed.

Workshop 1

In the first workshop, group members discussed, and agreed on, when to have meetings, and the schedule for each meeting, including start, end, and break times. They also went through the Charter and, together, discussed the aspects and commitments that they felt to be most valuable.

Workshops 2 & 3

In these workshops, members worked on building the group’s understanding of measurement. Scottish Government researchers introduced key measurement concepts and methods. One of the methods was to use a ‘logic model’[6] that expressed the commitments in the Charter as activities that would contribute to achieving the principles in the Act, which were expressed as outcomes (see for example Figure 1). This helped group members to consider what best to measure to ensure the whole system was represented.

Figure 1

Figure 1

The group also learned about different types of data for measurement, including quantitative (numerical description) and qualitative (more in-depth understanding based on experiences, perceptions and opinions), what these kinds of measures tell us, and how they can be used.

Workshop 4

The group worked on coming up with indicators and measures for each of the first three Charter sections. Working with researchers, group members brainstormed ideas of what we might want to know in order to show that commitments are being met. They also suggested the kind of data that could evidence this.

The group then concentrated on the words used to describe what they wanted to measure and made some choices; for example, whether to say staff were ‘knowledgeable about’, or ‘understand’ the social security system.

Workshops 5 & 6

In the fifth workshop, Core Group 2 received visits from the Cabinet Secretary for Social Security to discuss how work was progressing, and from SCoSS who gave advice on what to consider while finalizing the Measurement Framework. Between the fourth and fifth workshops, government researchers drew up a draft framework, based upon Core Group 2’s ideas, and brought it back to the group for comment.

In workshop six, after studying the draft framework, the group held detailed discussions about the content and visual design of the framework. The chief aims were to make sure that the framework was easy to read and understand, and that nothing had been overlooked in the list of measures. In these workshops, the group also commented on ideas for a summary page which would give an overview of the measurement activity in the framework.

Workshop 7

At the last workshop, the group were shown two final draft versions of the framework; both contained all the same measures that were decided through co-design, but were laid-out differently. One version read from Charter sections on the left, to measures on the right hand side, while the other read from the top of the page to the bottom. A ballot was held amongst Core Group 2 members to decide which format to use.

Stakeholder engagement

Scottish Government staff hosted two meetings with representatives from stakeholder groups (see Appendix A).

The meetings took place at key stages of the work with Core Group 2. At the first meeting, Scottish Government researchers explained the methods and model used in the Core Group 2 sessions and answered questions.

By the second meeting, an early draft of the framework had been designed and attendees were asked to go through the framework, comment on the content and offer advice. Stakeholder representatives had some time after the meeting in which to share the draft framework within their organizations, and then feedback the results to Scottish Government researchers.

The feedback and comments were collected together and analysed by researchers and some adjustments to the framework were made.

SCoSS engagement

In a similar process, Scottish Government researchers attended a SCoSS meeting to inform them of the work and ask their advice for Core Group 2. SCoSS responded with useful advice to Core Group 2 which was relayed to them.

SCoSS also attended a workshop with Core Group 2 to give advice.

The full draft of the framework was delivered to SCoSS who discussed it in detail and sent us comments and advice.



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