Reflections from the Building Connections Fund developmental evaluation

Launched in December 2018, the Building Connections Fund (BCF) was the first ever cross government fund dedicated to reducing loneliness in England. In partnership with The National Lottery Community Fund and the Co-op Foundation, £11.5m was awarded to 126 voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations working with different groups across England. NPC was commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) as the evaluation and learning partner.

The Covid-19 pandemic significantly impacted the original BCF evaluation so from April 2020 we adopted a developmental evaluation approach to capture and share learning.

This document draws on a series of interactive workshops with funders, grant holders and NPC
staff to reflect on lessons from this evaluation. We’ve written this for people undertaking or planning evaluations in a crisis. Through sharing our experiences, we hope to contribute to the important, on-going conversation about how to evaluate in fast moving situations.

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