Review of the Climate Challenge Fund

This report reviews the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF), a Scottish Government scheme that supports communities to take action to address climate change.

3. Methods


3.1 The review was carried out using the following research methods:

a. Review of KSB's CCF projects database, to enable profiling of CCF project characteristics such as topic focus, locations and refresh themes.
b. Review of the results of an online survey with CCF2 and predominantly CCF3 groups (administered by the Scottish Government).
c. Stakeholder interviews (20 stakeholders through 18 interviews).
d. Focus groups with the CCF and JCCF panels.
e. Case study research with 24 CCF groups.

3.2 Aside from the survey (b), all research was conducted between May and July 2015. Results from all methods were analysed and integrated and have been presented by theme in each section of this report.

CCF projects database

3.3 KSB hold a database of all CCF projects with details including funding amount, group type, project type, refresh themes and location. This was analysed by the Scottish Government to profile CCF projects. Results were reviewed by Changeworks and key findings have been included in this report where relevant.

CCF Projects Survey

3.4 The Scottish Government designed and administered a survey of community groups who had received CCF3 funding (referred to in this report as the CCF Projects Survey). The online survey sought to obtain further information about projects such as key achievements, partnership working and co-funding. Perspectives on some aspects of CCF were also explored, such as level and type of support received by groups.

3.5 The survey was distributed to CCF3 groups in March 2015. 170 group responses were received. The Scottish Government undertook an initial analysis of this data which was provided to Changeworks. Key findings have been included in this report where relevant, and in some cases findings from this survey complement and triangulate findings from the case study research. The data was also merged with the CCF projects database for the purpose of selecting case studies for further research (see below).

Stakeholder interviews

3.6 Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with stakeholders (two interviews were paired interviews, giving a total of 20 stakeholders). The interviews aimed to explore stakeholder perspectives of the CCF including successes and challenges of CCF3, and the pros and cons of future options for the CCF or any successor scheme. It should be noted that the internal Scottish Government interviewees had varying levels of knowledge, experience and interaction with the CCF.

3.7 Half of the interviewees were Scottish Government staff representing various policy areas related to the CCF programme, such as food, waste, energy and community programmes. The other stakeholders comprised members of the CCF panel, representatives of community organisations (such as the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations (SCVO) and Development Trust Association) and relevant environmental organisations such as the Energy Saving Trust (EST). The list of stakeholders was proposed by the Scottish Government and agreed by the Research Advisory Group (RAG) and Changeworks. This list is presented in Appendix A.

3.8 Interviews were conducted using a topic guide agreed with the RAG; this can be found in Appendix B. Interviews lasted between 30 and 120 minutes and were conducted over the phone or face-to-face.

Focus groups

3.9 Two focus groups were conducted; one with the members of the CCF grants panel and one with the JCCF grants panel. These followed a topic guide presented in Appendix B. The focus groups, as with the stakeholder interviews, explored stakeholder perspectives on CCF3 and options for any future or successor scheme.

Case study research

3.10 Case study research was undertaken with 24 CCF3 projects with the aim of obtaining more in-depth information about projects such as activities, outcomes, challenges and successes. It also aimed to explore the perspectives of the community group representatives (and a smaller number of beneficiaries) regarding the CCF and views on any future scheme.

3.11 The 24 case studies represent a range of CCF3 projects; for example, different sizes of projects, project topics and geographical location. The methodology used to select these case studies from a total of 169 completed CCF3 projects is outlined in Appendix A. Details of the case studies are also provided in Tables A1 and A2 in Appendix A.

3.12 Ten case studies were treated as 'depth' and 14 as 'light touch'. The approach taken was:

  • For light touch case studies:
    • Reviewing the project's final report
    • One semi-structured interview with a key representative of the community group.
  • For depth case studies, the same approach was taken with the addition of a further two to six interviews with other project stakeholders; e.g. community group members, volunteers and project beneficiaries. These stakeholders were identified by the initial interviewee in consultation with the research team.

3.13 Overall, 60 interviews were conducted: 24 initial interviews with a community group representative and 36 further interviews for depth case studies. Overall, 24 end of project reports were reviewed.

3.14 All interviews were semi-structured using topic guides provided in Appendix B. The interviews lasted between 60 and 135 minutes. Initial interviews were conducted over the telephone, and where possible additional interviews for depth case studies were carried out face-to-face during a site visit (otherwise over the telephone).


Email: Debbie Sagar

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