Rhestr Eitemau

2019 Enhanced Annual Implementation Report of Wales Rural Development Programme 2014-2020

Working with Agra CEAS Consulting and ADAS, Wavehill have been commissioned by the Welsh Government to produce the Enhanced Annual Implementation Report (EAIR) of Wales Rural Development Programme (WRDP). The aim is to take stock of the results and achievements of the WRDP 2014-2020 to date. Managing Authorities must produce a series of AIRs which provide information about the implementation of the RDP as well as the evaluation plan. The Enhanced AIR is a new requirement for the 2014-2020 programming period and must be completed as a requirement of EU funding; it replaces the use of mid-term evaluations in the previous two programming periods and aims to be a more efficient approach to understanding the effects of RDPs during their continuing implementation. Wavehill are leading on the assessment of activities relating to Priority 6 of the WRDP (promoting social inclusion, poverty reduction and economic development in rural areas) which includes the LEADER programme. For further information please contact: Endaf.Griffiths@wavehill.com

A Theory of Change workshop with the Wales Co-operative Centre Board

In March 2019, Wavehill designed and then delivered a workshop session for the Board of the Wales Cooperative Centre to begin to develop a theory of change for the organisation. A theory of change is probably best described as a roadmap that sets out the things that need to happen in order to achieve the intended final-outcome or the goal of an organisation. It is also a method of highlighting the assumptions that are being made within the identified ‘causal chain’, barriers that need to be overcome and the enablers — the things that need to be in place for the theory to work. For further information please contact: Endaf.Griffiths@wavehill.com

A collaborative approach to monitoring and evaluation: how GOGA is leading the way

Since its inception in 2016, Wavehill have been working with Activity Alliance to evaluate and demonstrate the social and economic impacts of Get Out Get Active (GOGA) a national programme that brings disabled and non-disabled people together to become more active. The programme looks to engage the least active communities in fun and inclusive ways. It provides opportunities for disabled and non-disabled people to be active together; improving physical and mental wellbeing and strengthen communities. As a result, the programme also tackles social isolation for many vulnerable people across the UK. Initially funded by Spirit of 2012, the programme is now in its second phase, working across 21 local authority areas across the UK, having successfully confirmed additional funding from the London Marathon Charitable Trust and Sport England in March 2020. Working in partnership with funders, stakeholders, delivery partners and programme beneficiaries, Wavehill have developed a deep understanding of the programme on both a national and local level. This unique local and national perspective provides important context and deeper understanding to local projects in its delivery locations as well as greater insight and understanding to the overall programme evaluation process. Working in collaboration with the GOGA programme team, Wavehill has taken a different approach to monitoring the outcomes of this programme to better evaluate and feedback as the programme progresses. It uses a mixed method approach involving extensive engagement and regular feedback across the programme delivery, instead of providing feedback at the end of the programme. This has enabled all stakeholders to learn and share insights that continue to improve all aspects of the programme (enabling ‘in-flight’ changes), from a local and national perspective. This in turn has led to a deeper understanding of the positive impacts that the programme continues to have, whilst providing timely insights that have also supported funding applications for the second phase of the programme. This feedback loop is a cornerstone of the programme’s success and evidenced at the recent GOGA Conference. Here a number of resources were launched focused on who, what, where and why this programme is important. These resources (including practical tips and examples of how to deliver the ‘GOGA Approach’) and shared learnings are intended to support stakeholders looking to become more active within their communities through a more collaborative approach and were developed from Wavehill’s summative evaluation report from GOGA Phase one and reimagined by GOGA to support the next phase of the programme. Feedback to project stakeholders from Wavehill’s evaluation is structured to share ongoing learning on key emerging issues that support delivery and partnership building by localities. These reports highlight the wider ‘ripple effect’ that partners within, and beyond, the GOGA network have on programme delivery for the inactive across the UK. GOGA Phase 1 demonstrated many positive impacts on physical activity through the approach it adopted with: 59% of GOGA participants stated that 6-9 months after starting on a GOGA project they were doing 20 minutes or more physical activity on average per day, this reaches 65% 15 months after GOGA participation. Disabled GOGA participants showed increased physical activity levels. 50% of disabled people stated they were inactive at the beginning of the programme, this dropped down to 15%, 15 months after GOGA participation. The least active participants strongly associate their GOGA ‘experience’ with an increase in their physical activity levels. 69% say they have become more active, and that for this group, over nine out of ten (91%) attribute this to their GOGA experience. Furthermore the increased engagement in physical activity bring other wellbeing benefits that are noted by the UK Government as being critical in wider local community level health improvements. GOGA Phase 1 evaluation findings also showed that: For the least active, there are statistically significant increases in the average rating of life satisfaction and whether participants believe their life to be worthwhile following participation in the GOGA programme. Happiness has also risen following GOGA participation and the mean average anxiety score (out of 10) has fallen. Those with disabilities also demonstrate similar positive trends in their own sense of wellbeing. The results of this programme and the ongoing approach, continue to hold relevance given the focus the government set out in its Covid-19 Mental Health and Wellbeing Recovery Action Plan announced in April 2021. In a post-Covid recovery, programmes such as GOGA are ever more important in supporting vulnerable, disabled, and non-disabled adults. Building on GOGA’s strong foundation, the second phase of this programme is already having a strong positive impact locally and nationally. Wavehill and Active Alliance’s ongoing collaborative approach continues to uncover new insights from its monitoring and evaluation methods allowing the programme to go from strength to strength in its ability to deliver positive outcomes for inactive disabled and non-disabled people across the UK. Simon Tanner, Project Manager for the GOGA evaluation identified: “As evaluation partners, Wavehill are proud to be such close and valued member of this ambitious programme. Combining the nuance of local learning with oversight of the national programme has enabled greater insights and shared learning for clients, stakeholders, project partners and funders across the UK. The ongoing feedback loop continues to help the programme improve and evolve to support the inactive across the UK. It’s challenged our evaluation team to think hard about how we present findings in the most useful way, so those delivering the programme can utilise them as easily as possible. It’s been great learning for us, and we look forward to further refining our approach as GOGA Phase 2 continues.” For more information please contact Simon Tanner

A new Senior Consultant has joined the Wavehill team

Dr Ian Johnson has joined Wavehill as a Senior Consultant bringing his considerable and varied knowledge and experience to our team in Wales. Ian joins Wavehill after a period as a freelance researcher during which he worked on a range of different projects for the RNIB, Members of Parliament and Members of the Senedd. His research has included the impact of Coronavirus upon eyecare treatment capacity within Welsh Health Boards, comparable international mental health treatment, and proposals for the replacement of European Union funding in Wales. Before his time as a freelance researcher, Ian worked for the mental health charity Mind as Children and Young People Manager and Senior Research and Evaluation Officer. His work in that period included projects on the development of perinatal support for vulnerable migrant mothers; mental health resilience training for patients who are newly diagnosed with a long-term physical condition, such as arthritis; establishing resources and support for workplace wellbeing amongst employees; a programme to assist GPs in reducing their waiting lists for counselling and the development of improved mental health resources online. Ian has also held several positions with Plaid Cymru – the Party of Wales during his career including Head of Policy, Senior Research and Communications Officer and Head of Research for the party in Westminster. Welcome, Ian! You can contact Ian via email: ian.johnson@wavehill.com

An Economic Impact Assessment: Snowdonia Aerospace Centre Development

In July 2016 Wavehill were commissioned to undertake an economic impact assessment of several scenarios related to proposed roadworks to improve access to the site of Llanbedr Airfield. The airfield is the site of the Snowdonia Aerospace Centre and is part of the Snowdonia Enterprise Zone. Our analysis built upon previous studies that have considered new uses for Llanbedr Airfield and the economic potential of the site including as a centre for the development and testing of Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS) and a possible location for a Spaceport. Those studies provided the starting point for the assessments in this report with additional desk research and primary research being undertaken to update and supplement the data already available. This included a telephone survey local businesses to collect data to inform the economic impact assessment. For more information contact Endaf Griffiths

An insight into the future of charity funding in Wales

In October 2014, Garfield Weston and the Wolfson Foundation commissioned Wavehill to undertake research to provide data to inform the grant-making activity of both organisations and other grant-makers who may wish to use the data. The purpose of this study was to understand the current funding environment in Wales as experienced by small to medium-sized (defined by the researchers as an organisation with less than £3 million annual income) voluntary sector organisations. Recent research has reported a range of potential effects of public sector funding cuts across the UK as a whole, but in this challenging environment, charitable funders have observed low levels of applications for funding. This new research study aimed to understand the specific issues organisations are facing, and identify how funders could best support organisations to adapt to the changing environment. A copy of the final report can be found here.

Building a Wellbeing Economy: the contribution of events to Scotland’s Wellbeing

Building a Wellbeing Economy is a top priority for the Scottish Government. This means building an economy that is inclusive and promotes sustainability, prosperity and resilience, where businesses can thrive and innovate. It should also support all communities across Scotland by enabling them to access opportunities that deliver local growth and wellbeing. VisitScotland, on behalf of the Event Industry Advisory Group, commissioned a research project to understand how events contribute to Scotland's wellbeing and identify measures for wellbeing impacts. The research, delivered by Wavehill Social and Economic Research, comprised a review of existing research and evidence and was produced in consultation with people involved in events. Download a copy of The Contribution of Events to Scotland’s Wellbeing report here below. .

Building the evidence base around social prescribing

What is social prescribing? People are facing more pressures and uncertainties in their everyday life. Evidence shows that around 20% of patients consult their GP about issues that are primarily social problems. In addition, longer waiting time and resource constraints on the NHS make getting timely support increasingly more challenging. Working with GPs, social prescribing provides tools and opportunities to support health and wellbeing that cannot be resolved by a purely medical model alone. Social prescribing is a holistic model that looks at the wider way our environment and circumstances may impact our health, including issues like finances, a lack of social connectedness, and challenging home environments. In turn it enables individuals to access activities that may help to boost their health and wellbeing, by focusing on these wider challenges. Support can be accessed through community and voluntary groups enabling individuals to volunteer, learn, participate in sports or the arts. The result can include both preventative and reactive health and wellbeing outcomes. At its heart, social prescribing empowers individuals to take control of their own health and wellbeing, by enabling them to select activities that support their needs and interests. What value does social prescribing provide? There is emerging evidence that social prescribing can lead to a range of positive health and wellbeing outcomes for people, such as improved quality of life and emotional wellbeing. National Academy of Social Prescribing From a policy perspective, the value of social prescribing cannot be underestimated. It has been included in the NHS Long Term Plan, and in other key government initiatives including the government’s Loneliness Strategy, the 25 Year Environmental Plan and Covid Recovery. In a recent evidence review, social prescribing was attributed to a reduced use of GPs by 28%, and attendance to A&E by 24%. Yet at the heart, social prescribing is a person-centred approach that provides personalised tailored support with a range of benefits, from improved mental health to improved community resilience. What are examples of social prescribing in action? This week is social prescribing week. At Wavehill we have been reflecting on the transformational impacts social prescription can have for individuals and their communities, which we have witnessed first-hand during our evaluation work. By understanding the link between health and wellbeing we can assess what the long-term benefits and impacts of social prescribing can be. This is built on our experience from evaluating a wide range of projects across different types of timely interventions with individuals and communities across the UK over recent years. The interventions range for sports and physical interventions such as the Activity Alliance national programme. This programme brings together both people with and without disabilities through community sports initiatives across the UK. Working with delivery partners Get Out Get Active (GOGA) the programme has, since its inception in 2016 seen a statistically significant increase in participants reporting improved life satisfaction and a sense of life being worthwhile and, noted declines in anxiety levels. Understanding both the local and national context is vital. The Thriving Communities programme provides local interventions by local communities around the UK. We are undertaking research across 36 funded projects in England and Wales to understand and demonstrate the contribution they have made to delivering social prescribing activities in their local areas and the benefits that have been accrued. A local perspective is also vital. In Northumberland for example, we are evaluating 5 pilot projects focused on providing enhanced social prescribing activities for individuals with neurodiverse and mental health conditions. Empowering and enabling people to take control of their health and wellbeing through timely interventions is creating traction amongst local and national organisations across the UK as well as policy makers. Wavehill are contributing to the evidence base that demonstrates the positive impact social prescribing is having on individuals and communities.

COP 26, Net Zero and the Critical Role of Policy Evaluation

World leaders, climate experts and environmental campaigners descended on Glasgow for COP26 in what felt like a make-or-break summit for climate change. A climate-anxious global population nervously watched, and hoped, that the political will and capability to develop solutions and common resolutions could be found to help steer our path towards global net zero by 2050. Optimistically, my sense is that the urgency and political will for change is growing and will continue to do so. However, the ability for the UK and the rest of the world to find the solutions that can achieve this, and to do so in a way that is affordable for every country, is perhaps the greatest public policy challenge of our generation. Carbon emissions need to be reduced or removed from the heating in our homes and offices, the fuel in our cars and the flights we take for our holidays. Likewise, from the power stations, factories and industries that produce the goods and services we consume each year. The diversity of these energy uses, and the stakeholders involved is vast, but increasingly so too are the range of possible solutions now in development. As many experts are already highlighting, we now largely have the technology that could enable us to achieve net zero in the UK. The challenge is that a lot of it is still expensive and not yet sufficiently refined or tested at scale. Securing reliable zero-carbon solutions, that are scalable, at an affordable cost is therefore critical for the UK if we are to reach our net zero target by 2050. Robust monitoring and evaluation practices can challenge programmes and help deliver greater efficiencies, helping to answer key questions such as: Which policies and programmes are most effective at achieving carbon savings for different energy uses? Which organisations are best placed to deliver these? What level of incentives or subsidies are needed to encourage people to switch to net zero products and technologies, for example, electric cars or heat pumps in their homes? To what extent are programmes effectively stimulating low carbon markets in a way that helps make them more cost competitive and enabling them to grow? The solutions for achieving emissions reductions in the areas of domestic, commercial, industrial and transport uses and in energy generation will need interventions across all branches of government, from UK government departments and devolved administrations to local and combined authorities. Interventions addressing climate change are already being delivered and if we are to build a deeper understanding of what works in transitioning to net zero approaches for each type of energy use, there is an urgent need for high quality monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes, and the lessons need to be shared, as openly as possible. Evaluation practices are also important for helping to identify any risks of unintended consequences from policies. One of the most publicised examples of this was the Northern Ireland Renewable Heat Incentive, which became known as the Cash for Ash scandal. Some applicants to the scheme gamed the system and claimed subsidies for generating renewable heat that they did not need, in order to profit from it. Learning lessons from evaluating the way policy is implemented and using this to refine schemes and address unintended consequences will continue to be critical in ensuring effective policies to combat climate change. As well as seeking to be a world leader in the fight against climate change, the UK is a leader in the quality and robustness of research and evaluation in policy making. The HM Treasury Green Book and Magenta Book, which guide work around appraisal and evaluation of policy are well-respected and drawn on by policy makers in countries across the world. The evaluation of programmes to tackle climate change in the UK at all levels can provide evidence not only to support the many transitions that will need to happen in the UK in the years and decades ahead but could also provide valuable evidence that supports other parts of the world with their targets, and ultimately with the shared global challenge of achieving net zero. Wavehill is a specialist research and evaluation consultancy – we regularly work for UK Government, Welsh Government, local and combined authorities, and local enterprise partnerships around the evaluation of programmes supporting renewable energy and addressing climate change. We are passionate about the need for clear and robust programme evaluation, and the critical value that it can bring in effective policy making. If you would like to know more about our work in this area, please contact Stuart Merali-Younger

Careers Wales
Clients in Education
Research Focus Groups

Careers Wales are in the process of re-launching their services and redeveloping their marketing strategy for school pupils. To inform these strategic changes, Careers Wales commissioned Wavehill in June 2016 to undertake two series of focus groups with a total of 120 Year 10 and Year 12 pupils in secondary schools across Wales. The research findings allow Careers Wales to better understand their target audience, their opinions and behaviours and to determine the best ways to communicate in terms of style, format and messaging. For more information please contact Mair Bell

Carmarthen BID (Business Improvement District)

Throughout 2017 Wavehill will be working with the business community in Carmarthen town to develop a Business Improvement District (BID). There are approximately 217 active BIDs across towns and cities in the UK and another 50 under development that have yet to go to ballot[1]. BIDs are established and run by businesses, with the aim of improving local trading conditions. They are funded by a levy on businesses based on the rate-able value of their premises and they are established through a ballot of the businesses in the area. BIDs can also benefit the wider community and regeneration initiatives. BID development in Carmarthen will be an inclusive process, involving all relevant local bodies and partners, but primarily local businesses. Wavehill will begin by assessing the feasibility of a BID for Carmarthen, which will include consultation with businesses. Should the outcome be positive and favorable, Wavehill will advise on the development of a BID proposal and taking the BID to ballot. This project has been commissioned by Carmarthen Chamber of Trade and is supported by Carmarthenshire County Council. Wavehill has previous experience in BID development, having worked with local bodies in Gwynedd to successfully establish BIDs in Caernarfon and Bangor in 2015. [1] https://www.bidintel.co.uk/bids/stats For more information contact Endaf Griffiths

Childcare Sufficiency Assessment 2017

Wavehill were commissioned by Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council in September 2016 to undertake a full update of the Childcare Sufficiency Assessment for the area in line with Welsh Government statutory requirements. The main data collection undertaken, with direct support of the Early Years and Childcare Team and the Family Information Service (FIS) at Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council, involved a full assessment of the demand and supply of childcare in the county borough. It included Analysis of the Self-Assessment of Service Statement (SASS) data from the CSSIW for all registered childcare providers in Merthyr Tydfil; Telephone survey of non-CSSIW registered childcare settings and Registered Settings; Depth telephone interviews with members of the Early Years and Childcare team to identify the key delivery challenges and details of the training and workforce development activity currently provided to the sector; Researcher led consultation visits were undertaken with up to eight childcare settings to consult with children aged 2-14; Six parent/carer focus groups in line with the Childcare Act 2006 Guidance covering under-represented groups and a spread across age of children and geography across the county borough; A telephone survey of employers; A survey of parents utilising a questionnaire supplied by Welsh Government; and depth telephone interviews with key stakeholders and partners (including umbrella organisations) to identify strategic issues affecting childcare delivery in Merthyr Tydfil. The work supported MTCBC reporting against statutory requirements to the Welsh Government and its own assessment of the demand for the 30 hour childcare offer in the county borough. For more information please contact Simon.Tanner@wavehill.com