Publication - Progress report

Learning Connections Adult Literacies Phase-Two Pathfinders: Evaluation Framework

Published: 13 Nov 2007
Part of:

This report describes the development and support of an evaluation framework and evaluation tools for the eight phase two Pathfinder projects.

Learning Connections Adult Literacies Phase-Two Pathfinders: Evaluation Framework
5. Other Issues

5. Other Issues

5.1 Project Advisory Group

Shortly after the commencement of the evaluation project, an advisory group with the remit to provide advice and guidance and generally "steer" the project was formed. This group comprised literacies experts, practitioners and representatives from Learning Connections and Communities Scotland's Regeneration division. (See Appendix 5 for membership of the Advisory Group).

The Advisory Group met five times over the duration of the project. It has played a very valuable role, particularly in the earlier stages of the project, advising on the content and format of the evaluation framework and toolkit. It has also been very useful in refining the themes for the development workshops and also assisting with the input into these.

The Advisory Group has also played a valuable role, providing a key reference point for the consultants in terms of reporting project progress and as a 'sounding board' as refinements in the project methodology have been made as it has progressed. It has also ensured an external and 'independent' perspective has been brought to the project, to complement and enhance Communities Scotland's own aims and objectives.

The main difficulties that the Advisory Group have experienced have generally been practical ones, including having to evacuate Communities Scotland's offices during a fire alarm and reconvening in the bar of a local hotel (!). It has been difficult for all members of the Group to meet at the same time and it has been particularly challenging for Learning Connections staff to organise these meetings.

5.2 Relationship with Learning Connections

Learning Connections has provided the Project Management for both the Pathfinders as well as the Evaluation Project. The Evaluation Project has benefited from having two Learning Connections Co-ordinators to provide project management support, with one of the Learning Connections Managers having overall responsibility for the project.

This arrangement has worked well, with the consultants being well supported and having ready access to staff to deal with their queries and issues which have arisen over the course of the project.

Each Pathfinder has a designated link person within the Learning Connections team. At the outset of the project, we endeavoured to hold a joint meeting between the evaluation project team and the Learning Connections team, however for a variety of reasons (for which we are partly responsible), it proved impossible to schedule this meeting. One aim was to clarify the respective roles of the Learning Connections staff with the consultant team in relation to liaison and support to the individual Pathfinder projects. Generally this has worked well, however there have been a few areas where we think this could be improved. For example, the Pathfinders have, in some cases, been slow at producing their periodic progress reports. It has not been always clear whose role it has been to chase these up. This has led to a degree of confusion between the advisory/support role that we originally envisaged and a supervisory/management role. This has not been a major problem, however, with the benefit of hindsight, we should have all made greater effort at the outset to establish our respective roles a bit more clearly.