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Live projects

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Recession Watch Revisited


Topline timings: July 2017 - March 2018


Live project

In 2017 we are revisiting the voluntary organisations that took part our 2012 'Recession Watch' research to understand if and how their circumstances and outlook have changed. We will also carry out a series of interviews and discussions with independent funders to reflect upon changes in funding practice over the last five years, with the aim of highlighting the most useful and/or progressive practices.

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The value of small: Evidencing the distinctive contribution of small and medium sized charities


In partnership with: Sheffield Hallam University's Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research


Live project

This new study will take an in-depth look at the vital social and economic role of small and medium sized charities operating at a local level in England and Wales.

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Community Accountability with Power to Change


Topline timings: April - October 2017


Live project

A research project aiming to inform Power to Change’s practice in terms of assessing and supporting funding applicants as well as to generate findings of use to community businesses, others funding community businesses and, more widely, add to understanding about accountability.

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Empowered Communities in the 2020s


Topline timings: This project will run through from March 2017 - March 2018


Live project

IVAR has been appointed by Local Trust to carry out research that will scope and support the future of community development. Over the coming months we will look at what it needs to look like and who needs to be involved in order to empower communities in the 2020s.

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Self-care - A new chapter for the Building Health Partnerships programme


Topline timings: April 2017 - June 2018


Live project

We are pleased to announce that we will be running a programme focused on self care in 8 Sustainability and Transformation areas across the UK. Funded by NHS England and Big Lottery Fund.

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The Evaluation Roundtable


Topline timings: The current cycle runs April 2016 - December 2017


Live project

The Evaluation Roundtable is a network of foundation leaders in the UK, the U.S. and Canada. The Roundtable aims to improve evaluative practice in foundations by infusing it with cutting-edge ideas, and by providing foundation staff with an opportunity to refine and deepen their thinking and practice.

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Tudor Trust Support Programme



Live project


Commissioned by:

Tudor Trust

We provide bespoke organisational reviews to support grantees of the Tudor Trust. These reviews take place across England and involve working with trustees and staff of smaller community-based social welfare organisations.

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IVAR is the long-term evaluator and learning partner for global leadership programme



Live project


Commissioned by:

The Atlantic Philanthropies

The Atlantic Institute is the hub for the Atlantic Fellows programmes, a global initiative to empower and connect dynamic individuals committed to working together across disciplines and borders to advance fairer, healthier, more inclusive societies. The programme supports growing communities of emerging leaders tackling critical 21st Century challenges related to race, health and economic equity. It was launched in 2016 and is funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies, a limited life foundation.

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Learning partnership with Commonweal Housing


Topline timings: Ongoing, started in 2015


Live project

Our partnership supports Commonweal Housing to reflect on progress, challenges, learning and adaptation; and integrate learning from project evaluations into its strategy and operations. In particular, we have been asked to focus on ‘replication’ and the organisation’s aspiration to be an ‘action learning’ organisation.

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Evaluation of the National Youth Social Action Fund


Topline timings: July 2016-March 2018


Live project


Commissioned by:

Pears Foundation, the Cabinet Office and Step Up To Serve

Working with Pears Foundation, the Cabinet Office and Step Up To Serve, we will evaluate the National Youth Social Action Fund. The fund focuses particularly on growing social action opportunities among young people from lower socio-economic and rural populations. We will support the lead partners and funded projects to explore, understand and research: what social action looks like; how to change practice to engage young people from lower socio-economic and rural populations in social action; what behaviour change looks like in relation to youth social action.

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Evaluation of First Give


Topline timings: September 2016-September 2017


Live project


Commissioned by:

First Give

We are working with First Give to evaluate their schools programme which seeks to introduce students to ideas around citizenship and philanthropy. This will be their first independent evaluation and will support them in developing the future programme.

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A Better Start evidence review



Live project


Commissioned by:

Parents 1st

In partnership with Parents 1st we put together a multi-disciplinary team of researchers and practitioners to support the Big Lottery Fund’s A Better Start programme. Our evidence review looks at the ways that volunteering initiatives can benefit the development of babies and very young children right from the start pre-birth. From our findings we have developed a set of core principles for initiatives of this kind, key points for commissioners and other stakeholders and a separate implementation framework that we are now starting to use with practitioners hoping to set up new volunteering initiatives.

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The Child Sexual Exploitation Funders Alliance (CSEFA) has been created with the intention of aligning funding from trusts and foundations to bring about a step change in the way that child sexual exploitation is dealt with across the UK. We have been commissioned to conduct a light touch evaluation that will focus on the alliance itself, the challenges and achievements of this form of funder collaboration and the underlying assumption that aligned funding is a suitable strategy for achieving systemic change in a complex field such as child sexual exploitation.

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Sussex Community Foundation


Topline timings: September 2016 – August 2017


Live project


Commissioned by:

Sussex Community Foundation

We are currently working on two exciting pieces of work with Sussex Community Foundation. Find out more.

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