Building connections fund: Guidance on evaluation for grant-holders

This produced for grant-holders of the Building Connections fund, but can be applied to other projects tackling loneliness. It is designed to complement the What Works Centre for Wellbeing’s guidance A Brief Guide to measuring loneliness.

We need to understand more about the factors associated with loneliness, what the effects of loneliness are for different people and how we can prevent or alleviate it. Currently, there is limited evidence on loneliness. We have some data on loneliness in older people, but less for other age groups including children and young people. This guidance is designed to help you evaluate your activities tackling loneliness and improve the sector’s understanding of what works. You do not need to have any prior knowledge of impact measurement or evaluation.

Evaluation is about asking and answering some of the most fundamental questions: Are we making a difference? How can we improve? Are we reaching the right people? How does our programme lead to change? It is about developing an approach to learning about what changes occur, how change happens, and what causes change.

Please note that though this guide will help you collect data for your project, Building Connections Grant Holders who are chosen to take part in our smaller evaluation cohorts will be given extra support by NPC.

This document has been produced for Building Connections Fund grant-holders but can be applied to any activities aimed at reducing loneliness.

This guidance consists of three sections:

Section 1 outlines the national measures of loneliness. All organisations working on tackling loneliness should consider if they can use these to evaluate their work.

Section 2 takes you through five steps for developing and implementing a measurement framework for evaluating your work.

Section 3 offers practical advice for using different approaches and methods for data collection and analysis. It also outlines key evaluation considerations relating to research ethics and data protection.

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