Formative evaluation

This area of our evaluation work focuses on providing organisations with the consultation, feedback and learning they need to better understand the difference they make through their services. Often we are engaged to help organisations think and provide input into prioritising new areas of work or in further developing projects that are already running. By being able to articulate the outcomes of their work and demonstrate local need, organisations we have worked with have gone on to successfully fund their projects and programmes. Our experience of formative evaluation has been particularly within the UK voluntary sector for organisations supporting marginalised or disadvantaged clients specifically homeless people, people with disabilities, children with special educational needs, disadvantaged young people and families.

Recent examples include:

  • Launchpad – Just Ideas has worked with Launchpad (which supports single homeless people in Reading) to evaluate their existing projects and services, feeding in to successful further development and funding.
  • Reading Mencap – work focused on evaluating the difference their tailored support of clients with learning disabilities through a Family Support team makes.
  • DENS Day Centre – DENS required an evaluation of their Day Centre services to homeless (or at risk) people in the Dacorum area. Our evaluation approach enabled consultation with clients as well as the range of stakeholders DENS works with.


Thanks so much for this final report – it’s concise and really useful for future planning.

Thank you very much for exploring our work and pinpointing so eloquently what we do on a daily basis. It’s great to see our strengths identified, and focus on ways to improve the ETE [Education, Training and Employment] and activities service. It’s also fab to get client feedback and an insight into the effect of our work.