The role we play varies according to the project, partner and need – evaluator, learning partner, critical friend, researcher, facilitator – but we are always guided by our action research principles.
We tailor our approach, selecting the best methods for the needs of people we work with.
All of our evaluation work is about helping people to reflect and learn. Whether developmental, real-time or summative, we focus on generating understanding about what works, why and how.
Social research is our bread and butter – we seek to identify the right questions and gather data to help inform strategy and practice. We do this through interviews, surveys, focus groups and more.
Sounding board, critical friend, evaluator, facilitator – all of these roles are part of being a learning partner. We help organisations, people and programmes to learn, reflect, and adapt in realtime – as well as understand impact.
We use evidence reviews to help contextualise what an organisation is experiencing (or an issue they are interested in) and ensure we build on what is already known.
We provide focused support to help individual organisations reflect, adapt and move forward. This includes governance, strategy, mission review, learning and evaluation practices, and impact.
We have done a lot of work to embed Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) into our project selection and design processes and extending our network of partners to create opportunities for more diverse groups to participate in projects, as well as find and use IVAR resources.
We have adapted research design and delivery processes, which means:
Connecting Health Communities
We offer facilitated support and action planning to cross-sector partnerships addressing health inequalities.Read more
Pears Foundation #iwill Fund Learning Partner
We facilitate a community of youth volunteer coordinators in health and hospital settings to learn from their work in real time through peer learning.Read more
St John Ambulance’s First Aid Advocates programme
We developed monitoring frameworks, ran community focus groups and facilitated sessions with staff to inform the development of the First Aid Advocates initiative and its fit with the organisation’s overarching strategy.Read more
Comic Relief Learning Review
We analysed previous research on learning, evaluation, funders and voluntary organisations, and developed funder case studies, to inform what it means to be a learning-led grantmaker.Read more
We offered real-time learning and facilitation to support the design of a global network of equity leaders.Read more
We worked in partnership with Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology to research what it takes to make tech work in small charities.Read more