Planning and Evaluation
...supporting outcome focused and participatory approaches
SCDC recognises planning and evaluation as important decision making processes that should be integrated in order to be effective. In other words we should plan to evaluate, and evaluate to plan, with both processes informing each other in a continuous cycle. Whilst there are many different planning and evaluation models, SCDC promotes use of the LEAP framework as an approach which supports change or outcome focused planning and evaluation.
LEAP stands for Learning, Evaluation and Planning and it is both an approach to outcome focused planning and evaluation and a framework that supports the process of participatory planning and evaluation.
There is no current common definition for outcome focused planning and evaluation but the LEAP framework describes outcome focused planning as being about the real and measurable changes we want to see in the quality of personal and community life. It follows then that outcome focused evaluation is about measuring and assessing the extent to which change has taken place and who has benefited as a result. The 5 step cycle at the heart of the framework poses a series of critical questions to help us plan and evaluate the difference we want to make in response to the issues and concerns that are identified as important by communities.
The LEAP framework also supports the process of participatory planning and evaluation. This is in recognition that the issues experienced by communities are often complex and cannot be solved by any single agency alone. Therefore it is important that planning and evaluation should involve all those with an interest or stake in the issues being tackled, including communities themselves who are often excluded from these key decision making processes. Involving all stakeholders helps improve efficiency and effectiveness in addressing common issues, whilst establishing a sense of ownership and accountability over decision making.
SCDC provides training and consultancy support for individuals, teams, organisations and partnerships across a variety of sectors to use LEAP and embed the approach within practice.
SCDC offers a range of LEAP training courses that can be adapted to suit the needs of participants. These are:
- Introduction to LEAP - a half day or full day course that introduces participants to the values and principles that underpin the LEAP approach and the 5 step cycle of the framework. Participants are encouraged to apply LEAP to their own practice using current pieces of work.
- LEAP Training for Trainers - a two day course (with a period of up to four weeks between sessions) to equip participants to support others to use LEAP either formally by conducting training or informally by providing mentoring support. Participants have access to all LEAP materials and resources developed by SCDC.
- Credit rated LEAP - a three day course (with three months between the second and third day) with the first two days of the programme exploring the LEAP Framework and its application in more depth than previous LEAP training. There is a significant focus on the principles and values that underpin the framework, the application of these principles in the current policy context and what this means in practice. Following the first two days of the programme participants are asked to apply what they have learned in their own practice context. Day 3 is a follow-up session that supports participants to reflect on and learn from this experience. Successful participants are awarded 6 credit points at SCQF level 7.
LEAP consultancy support
This involves SCDC staff facilitating LEAP planning and evaluation processes with teams, organisations and partnerships. The amount of days is negotiated based on the explicit needs of the organisation.
SCDC also offers a one day seminar on outcome focused planning using logic models. Logic modelling is increasingly being used across sectors to establish the links between intermediate and higher level strategic outcomes. This seminar focuses on what logic modelling is and how it can be used to develop rational thinking about change focused planning.
SCDC is currently supporting a number of Community Learning and Development Partnerships to develop participatory, outcome focused plans using the LEAP framework. Partners are supported to have a deliberative dialogue with each other to identify common issues, agree measurable outcomes and actions to achieve them.
We are also delivering a number of in-house LEAP training courses across the country.
The newest LEAP resource to be created is ‘LEAP On-Line', a web based package that will support partners to agree and record their collaborative planning and evaluation processes. The resource is consistent with all of the published LEAP materials and will be officially launched in March 2012.
SCDC has developed a range of materials that supports understanding and use of the LEAP framework. To view the full list, visit LEAP Resources
For further information, please contact Susan Paxton (firstname.lastname@example.org)