Evaluation Grant Scheme 2023
The Evaluation Funding Scheme 2023 is a NEW pilot scheme that provides an opportunity for sporting bodies to undertake evaluations to support and understand the development, implementation and effectiveness of current, future or even past projects to the value of €15,000. The fund also provides a platform for NGBs/LSPs/Funded Bodies to build meaningful relationships with the third level sector/private consultants whilst building capability on how to carry out evaluations and how they can contribute to optimised sport development practice. Funded bodies are encouraged to engage with third level institutions or specialised evaluation consultants to develop appropriate evaluation methodologies for their projects. Funding a one of its kind applied partnership evaluation grant will help bridge the gap between research, policy and practice.
As the scheme is funded by Dormant Accounts, applicants will be asked to clearly demonstrate how their proposed evaluation relates to the personal and social development of persons who are economically or socially disadvantaged, the educational development of persons who are educationally disadvantaged, persons with a disability (within the meaning of the Equal Status Act 2000).
The evaluation grant scheme will support applications for formative, process, and outcome evaluations:
Formative Evaluations support programme development. They are completed before a programme is launched and include identifying the need for a programme, understanding best or emerging practice using available information, consulting with target populations and using these steps to develop a programme plan. Formative evaluation is often delivered in the form of community/target group needs or readiness analysis, literature reviews, stakeholder engagement workshops and establishment of baseline measures. The development of logic models and theories of change can also be part of a formative evaluation. Formative evaluation can be used as a mechanism to carry out preparatory work ahead of future Sport Ireland grant applications. This is especially useful for Dormant Account funding streams such as the Diversity, Inclusion and Equity Funds, Community Sport and Physical Activity Hubs, Volunteer Supports Initiative, Youth Leadership, Urban Outdoor Adventure and Innovation for Social Inclusion projects.
Process Evaluations monitor programme implementation. They are carried out during programme delivery and monitor how programmes are implemented in real world practice and how implementation might differ across different environments. Process evaluations are most effective when a clear programme implementation plan is documented. It can include measures of recruitment (how people were recruited to the programme, how they heard about it), reach (how many people engaged with the programme), participant characteristics (what kinds of people engaged with the programme), attendance (how frequently did they attend), engagement (how engaged were participants during the programme), delivery (was the programme delivered as intended, times, duration, frequency, location, ratios, resources etc.), satisfaction (how satisfied participants were with the programme), usage (to what extent the programme participants use the programme resources) and context (what environmental, economic and social factors influence the programme). Process evaluations can be used to understand the practicalities of programme implementation and participant engagement; what activities took place, in what context, by whom and with what level of effort. Good process evaluation can help explain the success or failure of programmes in achieving their intended outcomes.
Outcome Evaluations determine whether a programme has achieved the desired short, medium and long term outcomes. An outcome evaluation is frequently, although not always, carried out concurrently with a process evaluation. The outcome evaluation aims to collect appropriate evidence to determine if the programme or initiative “worked” or “didn’t work”. The development of logic models and theories of change can help in the selection of measures which might contribute useful evidence of programme ‘effectiveness’. There are multiple methodologies which can be used in outcome evaluation from pre/post intervention measures to full randomised control trials and everything in between.