The challenge

Between 2013 and 2015 NPC managed the capacity building programme Improving your evidence, commissioned by the National Offender Management Service (NOMS).

The programme was set-up to support charities working in criminal justice to improve their capacity to undertake high-quality evaluation and understand the impact they have in reducing re-offending. NPC led the programme, working in partnership with Clinks, the membership body for voluntary organisations that work with offenders and their families.

The approach

Improving your evidence was a broad and innovative programme that incorporated training and conferences, direct one-to-one support and a library of tailored resources published on the Clinks website. The project engaged directly with over 200 charities.

The result

Through the project, NPC sought not only to improve the evidence base about what works with offenders, but to promote cultural change and identify the incentives to produce good evidence. Charities want to meet the expectations of their commissioners, but producing high-quality evidence is tricky, costly, and risky. Often they do not have the right skills and are hard-pressed and reluctant to commit additional resources to research and evaluation.

By developing training and materials focused specifically on the needs of charities working with offenders, we produced a collection of resources for the National Offender Management Service, that supported the evidence capabilities of criminal justice charities for years to come. Key documents included:

  • Guidance on developing an evaluation strategy
  • Guidance on demonstrating outcomes
  • Guidance on the practicalities of research
  • Support to use the existing evidence base


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