Looking forward

07 January 2016

2016 is set to be another exciting year for People’s Health Trust as we begin to deepen our understanding of the impact of our work.

With help from the people and communities we fund, as well as external evaluators, one of our priorities this year is to learn and share more about what we as a Trust have achieved through our work with local residents.

So far, we have supported more than 2,000 projects across Great Britain, so this is a great opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences and use this knowledge to make our programmes the best they can be.

One way in which we collaborate is through face-to-face meetings and events such as the Local Conversations Network meetings. These take place every six months and the agenda for the meetings is set by community organisations leading Local Conversations in their neighbourhoods. It has been a great way for these lead organisations to share their experiences and approaches to creating on-going engagement with local residents. People are able to learn from each other about what has worked well and how barriers can be overcome, including reaching out to, and involving, people who do not normally participate in community life.  

Through this collaboration, the lead organisations are able to help us shape the programme as it develops. We are deliberately ensuring it remains flexible, rather than a fixed model – after all, no two neighbourhoods are the same!

We have also set up virtual networks on Facebook where organisations  involved in delivering the Local People and Local Conversations projects can share thoughts, ask questions and send updates on what’s working well, and - of course – what isn’t going as well as they anticipated.

We will be developing more networking opportunities like these over the coming year. In fact, we’ve just recruited an Evaluation and Learning Manager, whose role will be to nurture these networks and make them even stronger.

We have also started a more formal evaluation process to understand the impact of our funding programmes as well as how people and communities working together can start to improve health outcomes.

New Economics Foundation (NEF) is working to describe the way in which our funding is a pathway to addressing health inequalities for local residents. 

An evaluation is also taking place for the Active Communities programme. For this funding programme, research organisation Ecorys will be developing a theory of change and evaluation report. As part of their evaluation, they will be working with a number of case study projects to get a better idea of how the projects work and what they are achieving.

In the last year we have continued to develop our understanding of the communities we work with and in 2016 we are going to be doing more work on self-evaluation and on simplifying the outcomes on which we are asking organisations to report.

Thank you to all the projects and areas that have, or will soon be, involved in the evaluation work. Thank you as well to everyone who has contributed to our networks and other learning channels. We are looking forward to another year of learning.

Read more news from the Trust here

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