Midlands Evaluation Community of Practice

Our evaluation network brings together staff with an interest in or responsibility for evaluation in their system. It provides a space to share information, ideas and resources, as well as seek advice and guidance from one another

Delivery to date:

  • Established evaluation community of practice for the MDSN
  • Produced MDSN guide to evaluation principles and practice
  • Developed evaluation training programme
  • The evaluation network has over 40 members from the Midlands Decision Support Network (and beyond!)

    It is meeting every two months and is an opportunity for local systems to share and learn from each other.

    To join this community of practice please contact Paul Mason


    Meeting dates and papers

    Evaluation Community of Practice held on 29th March 22Lisa Cummins from the Health Economics Unit (and Evaluation CoP member) presented the ‘Challenges of carrying out economic evaluation locally’. Lisa went through an introduction to economic evaluation and gave an example of a recent project, highlighting the challenges and limitations. Copies of the slides can be found here: MSDN Eval COP 29 Mar 22 Agenda & UpdatesEconomic Evaluations Slides


    Thank you to those who attended the last Evaluation Community of Practice meeting held on 24th May 22 and contributed to the discussions that took please around shaping the CoP for 22/23.  It included our training offer, collaborative evaluation projects and ideas/topic discussions for future meetings. Copies of the slides can be found here: MDSN Eval COP 24 May 22 Agenda & updates  Outcomes from the meeting will be shared in due course.


    Evaluation Community of Practice held on 19th July 22 – Vicky Powers from Derbyshire County Council, presented on: Evaluating a behavioural science approach to increasing the take up of advice services offered to residents in economic hardship. Derbyshire County Council ran two Randomised Control Trials testing a SMS based intervention designed to increase the take up of advice services by applicants to the county’s Local Welfare Assistance Scheme. The project lead, Vicky Powers, talked through the trial design, the unexpected results and the benefits and challenges of running an RCT in this context. Copies of the slides can be found here.


    Thank you to those that attended the last Evaluation Community of Practice held on 20th September 22, where Louise Schmidt and Jiri Chard from NHSE presented information around evaluation capacity, operating models and approaches and also discussed examples of evaluation projects at NHSE.


    If you would like to attend the next meeting, please get in touch with Paul Mason

    Our plans for 2022/23

    • Continuing to develop the Midlands Evaluation Community of Practice as a forum for improving evaluation across our region
    • Sharing of local case studies and learning from these and invited external speakers
    • Continuing the evaluation training programme to extend to new topics, identified through CoP meetings
    • Providing ad hoc advice and support to Midlands decision support units on local evaluations

    Evaluation lead: Paul Mason (Principal Consultant and Evaluation Lead at Strategy Unit)

    Paul leads evaluation at The Strategy Unit. He has 22 years’ experience of applied research; specialising in mixed-method, complex programme evaluation. He spent the first 11 years of his career as a research and senior research fellow in universities, and more than ten years in private sector consultancy before joining the Unit in 2019. He is an expert in programme theory and logic model approaches; and in working with marginalised groups. He has a particular interest in rapid evaluation to support innovation.