A highlight of this edition is the Early Intervention Foundation’s report on effective practice in evaluating Early Help, which is a really valuable resource. In our experience of evaluating Early Help – and other initiatives – we think that the six principles are an excellent basis for measuring and understanding the impact that has been achieved.Based on our experience of delivering evaluations of Early Help, we were also pleased to see emphasis within the six principles on:
- Being clear from the outset about the amount or level of change that you are hoping to achieve. This ensures that the evaluation takes account of the original aspirations for an initiative or programme.
- Considering building-in some form of cost-benefit analysis. In these times of significant financial constraints, it is often insufficient for Early Help to demonstrate improvements in outcomes: they also need to demonstrate cost-savings or cost-avoidance. Without this evidence, there is a risk that funding will be diverted to other, often more acute, services.