Successful regional application for evaluation funding – with the potential to have national impact.

 

The Strategic Migration Partnership (SMP) has been awarded funding to cover an independent, qualitative, academic evaluation for the WW4RI project.

 

Since the Wellbeing and Work for Refugee Integration (WW4RI) funders simply require the achievement of quantitative targets, the WW4RI team decided to apply for additional funding to cover an independent, qualitative, academic evaluation of the project that will focus on the outcomes and impact of the project on beneficiaries’ lives. We have successfully been awarded funding for this important piece of work by The Bell Foundation, which is located in Cambridge (The Bell Foundation – Changing lives and overcoming exclusion through language education (bell-foundation.org.uk)).

 

The bid covered two phases for this project. Phase 1 has been approved and the SMP will apply later for Phase 2 funding:

Phase 1 covers the evaluation of the WW4RI project and the development of a framework for good practice in refugee integration.  The evaluation, which will cover 11 months of delivery from May 2021 to March 2022, will enable the SMP to make further changes to WW4RI, apply for future funding and share the best practice gained during the project. For example, if the online ESOL provision is evaluated positively it could mark a step change in ESOL delivery that would allow refugees to be resettled in smaller communities than ever before since they will be able to access online learning. It is also important to evaluate the wellbeing service and the modes of delivery, i.e. online and in-person, to see if this has made a difference to outcomes. The interaction between the wellbeing and employment/ESOL strands is also of interest since it is rare for these two strands to be offered together.

The SMP team will now find an external evaluator through a public tender. The external evaluator will devise an appropriate methodology to evaluate the complete WW4RI project, conduct the research and produce both an interim and final report. They will be assisted by the project team who will then plan and deliver a range of events to disseminate and cascade the learning gained regionally and nationally.

Towards the end of Phase 1 the SMP team will develop a comprehensive framework of good practice for migrant integration as well as disseminate the lessons learnt. In Phase 2, the SMP will train local voluntary organisations and everybody involved in resettlement and integration on the framework and embed the learning into these organisations in the region.

The evaluation project, framework development and training activities are expected to have national reach as good practice and lessons learnt are to be shared with a range of organisations supporting refugee and third country national integration. The lessons learnt from the WW4RI project and the framework will inform future resettlement, integration as well as ESOL policy and strategy through the planned dissemination events. They will enable a wide range of organisations to establish programmes based on the lessons learnt to further integrate future refugees and third country nationals into UK society in the future. The Bell Foundation also has a great deal of academic, research and evaluation expertise that will make a very significant contribution to the reports that will be produced. This expertise will permit the whole ESOL community to learn from the project and could lead to further changes in ESOL policy and strategy at the national level.

It goes without saying that the voices of our beneficiaries will be vital to this qualitative evaluation which aims to assess the impact of the project on their lives, behaviour and integration into British society. We are very much looking forward to hearing about how lives have been changed as a result of the project.

 

Submit a bid to become the independent evaluator

As explained above, we are looking for an independent, qualitative, academic evaluator to assess the impact of the WW4RI project on beneficiaries’ lives.

All of the details are found here: External Evaluator Final Version.

Closing date for bids: 26 April 2021