We are the only green space company involved in the national research and evaluation of the Heritage Lottery Fund’s (HLF) Parks for People Programme. Through this evaluation project we have reviewed evaluation data from 135 projects, identified areas of good practice and developed a range of support materials to aid applicants in future self-evaluation.
We have worked with Hall Aitken for HLF since 2008, supporting Parks for People projects in developing and implementing self-evaluation plans. We produced an evaluation framework and guidance for the programme and have carried out a range of training and participatory workshops with projects, helping them to understand the benefits of self-evaluation and the methods they may wish to use to measure their success. We have collected annual monitoring returns from all live projects and have produced interim evaluation reports in 2011 and 2013, demonstrating the impact to date of the programme.
Overall, our evaluation has found that despite a historical lack of data and experience of monitoring and evaluation in the green space sector, a comprehensive suite of evaluation data and information from 70 projects has been collected. Through the support provided we have been able to dramatically improve the ways parks supported through the programme measure their success. Despite some issues with data quality and validity, the dataset collected is unprecedented and goes a considerable way to demonstrating the potential and actual impact of the programme to date.
The programme has made a difference to the ways in which local authorities think about audience development, heritage management, engaging volunteers and skills development, as well as their approach to monitoring and reporting park usage.
To read the evaluation report click here