Clear Horizon recently (2018) led a co-design process for developing an evaluation framework and toolkit for place-based initiatives in Australia and piloted the framework by using it to review Logan Together (Queensland) as proof of concept, in collaboration with all levels of government, philanthropic groups and over 150 practitioners. We worked closely with Department of Social Services and the Queensland Government on this project (who commissioned the work), and developed a toolkit and literature scan to support the framework.

The body of work produced gives guidance on evaluation approaches for multi-site place-based approaches (PBAs), evaluation scoping, collective impact, cultural capability, theory of change, key evaluation questions, principles, indicators, measurement, ethical conduct, resourcing, reporting, and a theoretical overview of complexity aware evaluation approaches.

As part of this contract, we also tested the framework and worked with Logan Together to conduct a progress review of their initiative and produce long and short term Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning (MEL) plans.  Logan Together is a large place-based initiative applying a collective impact approach, located south of Brisbane, and is in its third year of delivery working to improve early childhood development outcomes for children in Logan. The MEL approach utilised the shared measurement framework already set up by Logan Together and developed ways to increase the inclusion of ‘community voice’ and evaluate intermediate outcomes ahead of longer term change.

For the progress study we used a mixed methodology based on a modified version of outcomes harvesting which involved a broad-scale sweep of outcomes potentially relevant to or linked to Logan Together activity since inception. To measure progress, verified outcomes across relevant change domains were evaluated against performance rubrics agreed on by stakeholders and Logan Together’s theory of change. An important aspect of developing outcome case studies and the progress study overall was the work involved in verifying the distinct contribution of Logan Together, as a collective, and that of the backbone team.

For more information see:

·      Dart, J. 2018. Place-based Evaluation Framework: A national guide for evaluation of place-based approaches, report, Commissioned by the Queensland Government Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors (DCDSS) and the Australian Government Department of Social Services (DSS).