An evaluation of the ChangeUp programme has been carried out by TSRC, in conjunction with other research partners.
The evaluation reports there has been ‘significant distance travelled at national and local levels in ChangeUp’, in the programmes first phase from April 2004 to March 2008.
The impacts on local infrastructure organisations have been identified in terms of better collaboration, efficiency savings, more appropriate services, improved standing with the statutory sector, greater funding opportunities, increased stability, and a greater focus on ‘hard’ issues.
Whilst the report describes these impacts as ‘slow to emerge, patchy in their achievement and not always attributable to ChangeUp’ it also notes that the gradual emergence of better partnership working (between local infrastructure organisations themselves and with the statutory sector), coupled with clearer strategies for changing the capacity of the local third sector, suggests that the local infrastructure sector has indeed been ‘changed up’. Were more funding available, it is suggested that the sector would be able to direct it more effectively than before to frontline organisations.
However, the report notes that the impacts of ChangeUp on local frontline organisations have been explored only to a very limited extent by any of the local consortia. Consequently, there is much less evidence around the impact on FLOs than on infrastructure organisations. On the other hand, there is evidence that local infrastructure support has been needed, appreciated and had a positive influence on the success of local organisations. A survey of TSOs in twelve locality case study areas shows a high level of activity in seeking support – from 81% of all TSOs in locality 6 (the highest) to 47% (localities 3 and 11) - with relatively high levels of satisfaction reported generally.
This independent report was commissioned in 2008 by Capacitybuilders to look at the impact and outcomes achieved in the first funding period (April 2004 – March 2008). The research consortium undertaking this project comprises: The Third Sector Research Centre; BMG Research; GuideStar Data Services; Sustain Consultancy.
ChangeUp is a government programme established to meet the support and development needs of frontline third sector organisations, through the provision of high quality, accessible and sustainable support services. Capacitybuilders was established in 2006 to manage ChangeUp, and has subsequently taken on a range of other programmes aimed at helping third sector organisations access high quality advice and support.