Impact story: Learning from doing things differently

In June 2020, Evaluation Support Scotland ran ‘Why Evaluate?’ – a series of free Covid-19 peer learning events to help third sector organisations reflect on why it is even more important to evaluate in difficult times.

Callum Wilkinson from Soil Association Scotland shares how he and his colleagues are learning from evaluation during lockdown. 

Soil Association Scotland works across the whole farming and food system in Scotland: from the farmer in the field, to the food on the plate. Through their Food for Life Scotland programme, they help local authorities to get fresh, local, sustainable food onto school dinner plates, by supporting them to achieve the Food for Life Served Here award for their school meals service.

Callum and his colleagues have had to move to delivery of their stakeholder support, training courses and Food for Life Served Here award inspections online. While staff are missing interacting with their local authority partners across Scotland in person, their evaluation shows that these activities are still possible and helpful. So much so, that they see a place for additional online delivery in the future.

In a recent report to funders, the team implemented the RSA Matrix for Understanding Crisis-response Measures which Callum learnt about during the ‘Why Evaluate?’ session. This tool gave a visual snapshot of the activities they have been undertaking during lockdown and helped to identify positive changes to continue.

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