Gathering the evidence

Evidencing co-production is hard enough, but when you are a small organisation it can be really tough. Evidencing takes time and resources and if you don’t have the capacity it can often slip down the list of priorities or get forgotten. Even when you do have the capacity and the skills to evidence your work it can still be hard when we often work within systems that are process driven with a thirst for numbers, how do we make sure that those of working in co-production don’t just become an add-on or tick box exercise?
“We need some simple techniques or resources that we can go to..”
In this week’s #conversationoncoproduction we looked at how we can evidence the work that we do, so here are some great tips and techniques that you could use.


Using stories to map out the things that they do and the journeys that they are on are a great way to start. Personal stories or quotes help to humanise often dry text and can turn bids into winning bids.
Use photographs, small quotes and larger stories to help build a rich document. You can use them to evidence events, documents, meetings, milestones and goals. Collect them and use them to demonstrate how co-production works.
Use qualitative narrative so that people’s stories are just as important and valuable, if not more so, because they give a more rounded picture, more wholesome”


Note the numbers of outcomes that you get whether they be hard or soft. Start to log your interactions, the results that you get. This doesn’t have to be complicated. Use a diary or if you are more technically gifted set up a spread sheet, something simple and un-daunting, that you will use on a regular basis. If you need to turn it into a something that’s fun or maybe competitive to do and it helps then do it.
Remember, the system loves numbers, so feed it.


We all love an agreement, don’t we, especially when we are offering up our own time and wisdom? There is something reassuring with an agreement, it helps us to hold ourselves and others to account. These don’t, although they could, have to be lengthy drawn out documents needing several layer of management to counter sign. They can be simple documents that clearly lay out what each of the stakeholders will commit to.
One of the biggest complaints we hear all of the time is the one about feedback. I have lost count of the complaints from those who have shared their insight and wisdom in the hope of supporting something positive, and often without reward, who don’t even get feedback after an event. Imagine if there was an agreement in place that ensured feedback. Those agreeing to give it would certainly be more inclined to make sure that they did and importantly they are likely to get a lot more out of any conversations if those sharing new that they were being taken seriously.


We often think of evaluations as long pieces of work with long winded survey’s report writing and more. So doing them sounds complicated and hard work, but it needn’t be. Simple evaluations that quick and easy to do either for groups or individuals are a superb way of evidencing your work in co-production. A survey on one sheet of A4 paper that has some basic multiple choice questions on don’t put people of. Make it an easy read that’s very understandable with a brief and concise explanation and you could have a winner.
If you don’t want to collate all of the reports then Survey Monkey offers you an even easier way of conducting your survey. The paid version will give you options to collate and export all of the data in ready to use formats like Microsoft excel.


This Blog has been brought to you by through the wisdom and insight of those who attend our conversations on co-production, it’s been co-produced. The group share their stories and Expert Link agree to produce a blog, we’ve measured the outcomes by the numbers of attendees and evaluated it using score between 1 – 10 on the check–ins and check–outs.
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