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Measuring change support providers

Invitation to tender (ITT)

Closing date: 27 February 2019

Big Local areas are well into the delivery phase of the programme with the average having spent over £400,000. With areas working on a wide range of new, exciting and inspiring projects, this is the ideal time to expand the support they can access around measurement and evaluation. Local Trust is looking to develop partnerships with providers who can deliver support directly with one or more Big Local areas.

Local Trust is an independent charitable trust that runs the Big Local programme. Big Local is a 15-year Big Lottery funded initiative to support 150 communities in England. Each Big Local area has been awarded £1m to spend over 10-15 years. The work in areas is led by local volunteers, and areas set their own priorities. The Big Local programme is administered by Local Trust, which also provides training, networking opportunities, research and support to areas.

This is a process to tender to provide support to Big Local areas around measuring the change they are making. We envisage this support will involve working with a small number of Big Local areas to build their capacity and skills around measuring change. We are open to working with organisations that have a support offer that they are already using in communities and to those who would like to use their knowledge and experience to develop a new support offer.

Purpose of support

Background: our approach to measuring change

The Big Local programme puts control of decision-making in the hands of communities. There are very little rules and regulations around how areas measure and report the change they are making. However, it is something that areas are deeply interested in for a number of reasons.

We have deliberately chosen our language around measuring change to reflect the ethos of the programme, highlighting that areas can choose how and what to measure out of the wide variety of activities and projects they organise. Crucially, we do not require nor expect all 150 Big Local areas to complete a full impact evaluation of their activities. We expect support providers to maintain and uphold our ethos and approach to supporting Big Local when delivering their support.

Local Trust is developing a programme of support around measuring change which this support offer will sit under. Our goal is to provide tailored support to all Big Locals that express an interest in receiving support. We have recently published call out to areas asking how Big Local areas are currently measuring the change they are making, what they would like to measure and the support they need to do it. Following on from the call out, we will begin offering a series of introductory training courses that will be followed by other, more topic specific, courses. We will also be using the information gathered from the call out to identify topics of interest for support providers.

Measuring change and Big Local

The people who are heavily involved in Big Local, mainly partnership members, are at the forefront of understanding and observing the change they are making in their area. They can, anecdotally, describe how Big Local work has improved the look and feel of the area, impacted local residents and brought the community together. However, with limited capacity, they often don’t have the time or specialised skills to evaluate their activities and projects.

Big Locals are interested in measuring change for a number of reasons including completing their Big Local plan review, sharing progress with the community, applying for other funds or having a greater understanding of their activities to make improvements. We have previously organised training sessions on various topics relating to measuring change and they have proven to be very popular.

Scope of topics

Big Locals are all unique, work in different ways and have identified their own priorities. As a result, we expect support providers to be able to adapt to the different contexts that each Big Local is working in. We want to work with providers that can provide support to Big Locals who want to measure and evaluate the impact of a particular project, the impact on the community or other aspects of their work.

Style of support

As Big Local is a volunteer-led, long-term programme, providers must be aware of the time it takes for projects to be implemented. It is also important to consider the scale and scope of working at the hyper local level. Support around measuring change should therefore be proportionate and take into consideration the uniqueness of each Big Local area. We are flexible on the method and style of delivery that trainers might implement. This includes the period of time that the support might take place over, the topics focused on and the number of Big Local areas you will be working with. It is important that the chosen contractors respect the need for flexibility in how and when support is delivered; Big Local is run by volunteers who may not be available for whole days at a time, or only available at weekends or evenings.

The successful contractors will need to understand Big Local, our values, ethos and approach to creating resident-led change. We need high quality and appropriate support, as well as a passion and commitment to our work. More information on Local Trust and Big Local can be accessed here: www.localtrust.org.uk

Outputs

Every contract will have negotiated outputs, both for the Big Locals worked with and for Local Trust. We expect a high-quality report on methods used during the support, any data collected and which parts of the offer worked best.

Timeline and budget

We will begin offering support to Big Local areas in April 2019 and it is likely that support will continue until at least March 2020. We intend to commission multiple support partners to each work with a small number of Big Local areas. We envisage contracts to range from £30,000 to £80,000.

Commissioning process

Please include the following information within your proposal, clearly setting out the following using the numbering below:

  1. A detailed description of how you would approach the work and deliver the support, including outcomes of your support and what Big Locals would get out of working with you; how you would manage limited volunteer capacity in areas; and proposed outputs of the work.
  2. A description of your knowledge and experience of the volunteering and community sector and how you will use it to work with Big Local areas.
  3. A timeline for the work, indicating when you would plan to deliver different activities. This should include key milestones in the project and deliverables against each of these.
  4. A detailed budget for providing support to one, three and five areas, including all costs, expenses and VAT, specifying all day rates, the number of days proposed and cost of particular activities.
  5. Details of the staffing you propose for the work. A description of the team’s skills which outlines how you meet the skills requirements, including CVs.
  6. Details of how you will project manage the commission and quality assure your work.
  7. The contact details of two previous clients with direct knowledge or experience of your work relevant to the work we require. Please specify how the referees know your work and if they can be contacted by us straightaway.
  8. An overview of you and/or your organisation: charity, company or other reference or registration number; summary annual income and expenditure for the 2018-2019 financial year; projected income for 2019-2020; membership of trade bodies, kite marks or awards relevant to this contract.
  9. A statement on how you would ensure compliance with GDPR regulations
  10. Any other relevant information that will assist us in our decision.
  11. Your contact details, including email address and phone number.

Proposals should not exceed 15 pages and fonts should be a minimum of size 12.

Submitting a proposal

Please send your proposal as a PDF document (plus CVs) to: Lindsay Street at research@localtrust.org.uk

Proposals to be submitted by: Wednesday 27 February 2019 at 10.00am (UK time)

Subject: Please include ITT: MEASURING CHANGE SUPPORT as the subject line

Any questions relating to this expression of interest should be emailed to research@localtrust.org.uk with subject line QUERY: MEASURING CHANGE SUPPORT.

Following this process, we intend to shortlist potential contractors and may invite a small number for interview on Thursday 14 March 2019.

This ITT is part of a rolling programme of support to Big Local areas around measuring change. In the first instance, we expect to work with a small number of support providers based around Big Local areas immediate needs. We plan to re-open this ITT sometime in Summer 2019 based on continued consultation with Big Locals on their support needs. With your agreement, we will reconsider ITTs submitted in this round at that point.

Assessing your proposal

Contracts will be awarded based on the most responsive service provider whose offer is assessed to be the most advantageous in terms of cost, methodology and relevant experience.

We will assess your proposal using the following criteria:

  • Skills, resources and experience to carry out all elements of the work
  • The extent to which the proposal delivers what is needed
  • Evidence of understanding of appropriate ways to work with community groups and volunteers
  • Understanding of who the work is aimed at and the most effective approaches to format, tone, accessibility, in the production of advice and guidance.
  • Value for money (we are not bound to accept the cheapest proposal).
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