The Trust is working to deepen its understanding of the impact community driven approaches are having on reducing health inequalities.

This learning supports residents on the ground to make their communities even better. It also supports our contribution to the wider debate around approaches to tackling health inequalities by addressing the social determinants of health.

The Trust is engaged in an extensive learning programme that covers both formal and informal evaluative methods to capture the full range of experiences and perspectives that contribute to the success and development of our funded projects. 

We have worked closely with evaluators and funded projects to develop theories of change for each of our programmes; Active Communities, Local Conversations and Local People. Each of these theories forms the basis of our impact reporting. 


Our Local Conversations programme

Formative evaluation findings

We are working with New Economics Foundation (NEF) to carry out an ongoing formative and summative evaluation of our Local Conversations programme. This work helps us understand the development and impact of this longer-term, place-based funding programme.

The findings have highlighted some useful recommendations for us to carry forward. The report also provides us with a baseline to measure progress that the 21 Local Conversation projects are having in their neighbourhoods.

We are continuing to work with NEF over the coming four years to evaluate the Local Conversations programme's impact, too.

To read the most recent report produced as part of the evaluation, which looks at the ways collective control supports the reduction of health inequalities, click here.


Our Active Communities programme

Evaluation findings

The Trust has worked with research consultancy Ecorys UK to conduct an evaluation of the Active Communities programme and assess its impact since its inception in 2013.

The report of the first year of the evaluation highlights ways in which funded projects are achieving the two key programme aims; increasing social links and ties, and collective control - supporting residents to gain a sense of ownership and choice by developing their project and neighbourhood.

The report of the second year of the evaluation, 'Evaluating our Impact 2018', showed that participants of 93 per cent of projects had more friendships and connections as a result of being involved and 91 per cent said people felt less isolated.

To read or download the summary report, click here.

As part of the evaluation, Ecorys UK have also produced a number of case studies. You can read these by clicking here.


Our Evaluation and Learning Committee

Learning from what we do and sharing our learning, based upon robust evidence, is a key part of our strategic plan. The Trust’s Evaluation and Learning Committee comprises trustees and external independent experts, to guide its overall approach to programme evaluation.

Our Evaluation and Learning Committee:

  • Paul Ballantyne (Trustee and Member)
  • Sue Cohen (Ex-officio)
  • Professor Elizabeth Dowler (Trustee and Member)
  • Dr. Matt Egan (Co-opted External Member)
  • Dr. Eva Elliott (Chair of the Committee, Trustee and Member)

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