Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Opportunities for Network Members to help with new Impact Evaluation Process being piloted by OLT

Yesterday, Mike and I had a productive meeting with Tilly Hinton from OLT to discuss OLT’s new pilot of the Ako Aotearoa Impact Evaluation Framework. Tilly has been seconded to refine and implement the pilot of the Impact Evaluation approach developed by Ako Aotearoa in the Australian context. Initially, all grants projects which have been completed for 6 months, 1 year or 2 years by October this year, will be invited to participate in the program. Whilst this includes 63 projects, funding for the pilot is limited so only as many as can be resourced will actually be involved.

Participating projects will be sent a pre-filled version of the framework for additional comment and detail two weeks prior to a discussion between project members, Tilly (or alternative OLT representative) as well as a discipline expert drawn from the Networking Projects. These conversations will run for 1 to 2 hours and be done predominantly in person, although other approaches will be trialled to meet the needs of diverse project teams. The first round of conversations will occur between November and December 2012, with the second half conducted in the January to March period in 2013.

This approach aims to build relationships between the OLT (funding body) and the project teams, provide a guide to the impact of the provision of funding and help facilitate cross-project benchmarking. Whilst this tends to support the idea of a ‘one best recipe’ approach to developing grants, the importance of funding more experimental and diverse projects was also recognised as being of high value.

As part of Tilly’s secondment, she is also conducting a range of workshops related to the Good Practice Reports from November 2012 to March 2013. This offers us a great opportunity to draw upon Tilly’s experience in hosting these workshops when designing our own dissemination webinars. In addition, it provides an opportunity to cross-promote the workshops with a captive audience.

Whilst NATA will not be directly involved in the pilot, Tilly has very generously agreed to attend our Face-to-Face meeting in October to engage in discussions of evaluation and how we may adapt the framework in our evaluation and reflective practices.

As mentioned above, Tilly is looking for Network members to participate in the 1-2hr conversations and it would be greatly appreciated if you may be in contact with her tilly.hinton@innovation.gov.au if you are interested in being involved, indicating your areas of expertise and interest.

Kind Regards, Natasha

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