Evaluation, investigation and review

We evaluate governance and performance, conduct inquiries and investigations, and review projects and programmes.

Government bodies require robust evaluation evidence to support policy review and policy development. The public sector is responsible for developing policies to address complex, multi-faceted, long-term challenges and its activities have multiple, sometimes evolving, objectives. Its interventions take place in the context of complex adaptive systems where outcomes are difficult to predict, impacts are often indirect and difficult to measure, and unintended consequences are very likely to occur. So it is vital to understand which policies work best, how they interact, and how they can be improved in future to ensure that they are effective and cost-effective.

RCS has extensive evaluation experience in the following areas:

  • Independent evaluation services based on our successful track records of undertaking complex evaluations of a wide range of public policies and from our first-hand experience of the challenges involved in designing, developing, commissioning, delivering and then learning from evaluation
  • Expert advice, steering and challenge to help ensure evaluations of key policies produce useful and usable findings that are based on robust evidence and therefore stand up to external scrutiny and challenge
  • Practical assistance help support the development of evaluation plans particularly in areas where the task of evaluation is especially difficult and may require the development of innovative approaches
  • Strategic level input providing authoritative, independent advice, to support and challenge internal analysts and external evaluation teams. This may also include capacity building, quality assurance and peer review

Work by our Directors has included the following (publications and other materials relating to them are available on request):

  • Independent evaluation of the Anglesey Recovery Board and Commissioners
  • Independent review of devolved government spending programme and advice on stronger governance
  • Evaluation of turnaround in local government
  • Meta-evaluation of the local government modernisation agenda commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government
  • Strategic advice to the meta-evaluation of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport
  • Membership of the UK Government Expert Panel on Local Governance
  • Evaluation advice to the Department of Transport
  • Delivered coaching in evaluation theory and methods on the European Union’s MEANS programme as well as post-graduate training in evaluation research at Warwick, Aston and Cardiff Universities
  • Evaluation of Sport Wales Calls for Action Programme

Many of our Associates also have evaluation experience in a range UK and international governmental contexts.