We believe it’s important for your organisation to own its own evaluation so you can get to a place of meaningful, ongoing learning and improvement. However, we recognise that evaluating complex relational services is incredibly challenging.  

While the bulk of our work focuses on supporting organisations to embed self-evaluation, sometimes an external lens is required to bring objectivity and often organisations need external capacity    

Coupling the two approaches within a learning partnership can be really powerful. We often work alongside an organisation to help them do this.  

What does a learning partnership involve?

While the details and scope our learning partnership will be unique to your work and what you are looking to achieve, all our learning partnerships build on our approach. We will work together with your team to:

  • set out how your initiative or organisation makes a difference as an outcome map.

  • audit and improve your data and evidence, and

  • conduct a round of analysis on your impact.

Within our partnership, we can also help you with:

Skills and capacity building

Throughout a learning partnership we help to build the capacity and capability of your staff to think critically about the work, bring evidence to the conversation and build skills in data collection, analysis and reporting.

Evaluation services

Many organisations struggle to have the capacity to gather and analyse data. We can offer:

  • Designing data collection – it can be hard to know exactly what you should ask, when and how. We can offer data collection tool design e.g. survey or interview questions.
  • Data collection through interviews, surveys, focus groups etc. This can also be useful if you want some external scrutiny of your work, or a neutral person to ask questions.
  • Analysis: we can do initial analysis, although in the spirit of learning partnership we would always want to hold collective analysis sessions with you to understand what the data is telling us and how best to use it.

Report writing

Writing in an outcome or impact focused way can be difficult – we can support report writing, draft reports for you, or work collaboratively on reports for different audiences.

We can bring data visualisation and design skills to help you demonstrate your impact to stakeholders with maximum appeal.

Critical friend

Throughout our learning partnership we can act as a critical friend. We do this in a supportive and appreciative way, but as outsiders we can often ask questions and hold a space for discussion in a way that is difficult to do on your own.

Some of our learning partnership work

Life Changes Trust Advisory Group (Young People with Care Experience Programme)

In 2020, we were selected by the Life Changes Trust and their Advisors to carry out an independent evaluation of the Advisory Group, to bring a clearer understanding of their work and what was achieved.

Working in close collaboration with the Group and the Trust staff/trustees with our outcome-focused, theory-based evaluation process, we sought to understand the Group’s impact on:

  • volunteer Advisors themselves;
  • the Life Changes Trust as an organisation including the experiences of members of staff;
  • the wider community of young people with care experience through policy-influencing work and grant-making.

Future Pathways

We’ve worked alongside Future Pathways since 2018 to help them in embedding self-evaluation supported by OutNav. At key stages in their journey, we acted as an independent learning partner to build on their own learning.

Most recently, we reviewed evidence gathered and analysed by Future Pathways and supplemented it with new data we collected at a series of workshops and discussions with people supported by the service and partners working with Future Pathways. Findings were published in the Stepping Stones impact report in August 2023.

By combining a self-evaluation approach with independent analyses and review, Future Pathways has been able to describe and understand its impact more fully and tell a robust story of the difference that they make.

Client stories from our knowledge hub