2. Method and analysis
The University of Edinburgh was appointed to carry out an independent evaluation of the LHEES pilots. The evaluation seeks to identify lessons from the first 12 pilot projects to inform the future development of this programme, for Scottish Government, local authorities, and project partners. This evaluation focuses on the organisational and social aspects of the LHEES pilots; an evaluation of the techno-economic methodologies and assessments used has been developed by Atkins.
This evaluation primarily draws on in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted with each of the pilot teams at the beginning and towards the end of the pilot projects. These included representatives from each local authority, external consultants, and Scottish Government. These interviews considered:
- Scope and content of the pilot LHEES
- Activities and processes involved in developing the LHEES
- Skills and resources required to develop the LHEES
- Perceptions of LHEES, both within and outwith the local authority.
All of the interviews lasted between 30 and 90 minutes and they were normally conducted in the local authority’s offices or nearby. The interview data has been analysed according to themes emerging, including: pilot outcomes; the impact of local authority structures and resource on delivery; partnerships and consultancy; stakeholder engagement; local authority structures and political will; and next steps.