As part of our Institute's charitable mission, we offer tailored, independent, credible and evidence-based services helping social ventures from around the world to measure and improve their impact, develop outcomes frameworks and drive efficiency. We use the Theory of Change and have structures to provide support at the highest standards locally, nationally and internationally. We are an approved provider of the Impact Management Programme for the Impact for Growth strand, funded by the Access Foundation and the Power to Change and we were originally involved in the structuring of the youth evidence London hub Project Oracle. We have supported organisations such as The Anne Frank Trust, Detention Action, Greater Manchester Probation Trust, Young Mayors, London Probation Trust and the British Council.
To discuss your organisational needs and to get a quote contact IARS Director, Dr. Theo Gavrielides, T.Gavrielides@iars.org.uk
Examples of our services include:
When supporting social ventures, we always try to match fund the costs while tapping into our existing research infrastructures including our international Academic Board and Research Ethics Committee, peer review journal and our publishing arm. We can support funding applications covering the evaluation side of proposed projects, while also providing tailored services to already resourced programmes.
IARS is a CPD accredited training provider (all our courses and events are accredited with CPD points). Our training sessions have been developed and are based on extensive research. IARS is an approved member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE). This means that IARS reports, publications, evaluation and research strategies adhere to high ethical standards. We have several kitemarks (e.g. Youth Mark), and monitor our own ToC and strategic aims through internal and external evaluation processes.
Always assessing and taking into consideration the needs of our clients as well as the requirements and the nature of their projects, we offer a tailored approach to their needs that can include:
We use tools such as the Theory of Change (ToC) and the Nesta Standards of Evidence. We do so by aligning them with high academic standards and thus we have a standing, independent and international Academic Board that supports and reviews our work (currently 24 experts).
Through the ToC, we help social ventures to identify the building blocks required to bring about their long-term goals (inputs - outputs - outcomes) and measure them through appropriate methods such as: evaluation of specific outputs through self-completion questionnaires (e.g. events, volunteering opportunities, training), readers' surveys, pre and post surveys and regular interval surveying, online and face-to-face repeat surveys (e.g for offender or victim support programmes), collecting users' narratives (esp. for interventions), carry out cohort/ panel studies.
Depending on the NESTA level that the venture is or aspires to progress to, we will help them collect data that will isolate the impact of their services and validate their findings externally. Here, we use control groups, future scenario analysis, data on costs, multiple replication evaluations and fidelity evaluation. At Level 5, demonstrable evidence that their services' positive impact is scalable and Kitemarks are pursued.
Some of our evaluation examples include:
IARS conducted an evaluation using our evaluation infrastructure with an aim to provide an independent, robust and evidence-based overview that may help determine the efficacy of Restore: Respect over its 12-month delivery period. We adopted a mixed methodology by utilising both qualitative and quantitative data sources, including questionnaires, feedback evaluation forms and online surveys. Below are some of the quotes from our evaluation:
"As demonstrated by the findings, the project has achieved all its intended outputs. While some outcomes are easier to identify as fully completed, some others will need more time to demonstrate effectiveness."
"We have evidence to believe that through its behavioural outcomes this project has contributed to decreasing conflict and harm, and also by empowering young people, it has reduced the feeling of isolation."
IARS carried out a formative and summative evaluation of the 3-year Detention Action project. We adopted a qualitative strategy to evaluate the effectiveness of the project by utilising qualititative research methods, including semi-structured interviews, focus groups, ethnographic observations and questionnaires. Below are some of the quotes from our evaluation:
"The project is unique, as it is fillingthe gap in services for young people released from detention, who present complex immigration history, strong links with the UK and criminal record."
"The holistic approach employed in the programme is its greatest strength."
As independent, evidence-based evaluators and a research-based organisation, we ensure that we follow highly ethical standards always incorporating the following structures in our projects:
IARS is a member of the Committee on Publications Ethics (see: http://www.publicationethics.org/). COPE provides advice to editors and publishers on all aspects of publication ethics and, in particular, how to handle cases of research and publication misconduct. This means that IARS Publications adheres to high ethical standards in publishing.