Building Better Opportunities

Building Better Opportunities Evaluation


About the Building Better Opportunities programme

Big Lottery Fund is matching funds from the European Social Fund 2014-2020 to invest in local projects tackling the root causes of poverty, promoting social inclusion and driving local jobs and growth. The funding will be delivered in 38 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) areas according to local priorities, which have been set by the LEPs. It is supporting a variety of projects, ranging from those improving employability for the most disadvantaged, helping those with multiple and complex needs, to improving financial literacy.

About the Evaluation

The Big Lottery Fund has appointed Ecorys to deliver the national evaluation and learning services for its Building Better Opportunities programme. The contract started in February 2016 and will run until February 2020.
The evaluation primarily concentrates on examining the approach to programme implementation on the ground. In doing so it is taking a formative perspective to generate insights and timely lessons during the life of the programme. The key areas for investigation and analysis through the national evaluation are access and impact.

  • With regard to access, the evaluation will explore progress to date in opening up ESF funding, via BBO, to organisations that are well-placed to deliver effective interventions for harder to reach target groups.
  • The evaluation will conduct a range of activities to examine the impacts of the programme, including project reviews on a sample basis (i.e. a ‘deep and narrow’ analysis) to provide detailed and insightful findings about what works and for whom in the delivery of interventions.

The above evaluation work will be coupled with a strong emphasis on sharing learning through a programme of learning activities. Specifically these will be designed to identify critical success factors and lessons for the Fund and delivery organisations.

BBO Annual Report

In June 2017 we published the first annual report from the evaluation. It centres on the results of scoping activities undertaken in the initial phase of the evaluation, the first wave of an online survey with grant holders and partners, and interviews with unsuccessful BBO grant applicants. Click here to read the full report. 

BBO Learning

Evaluation learning event

In May 2017 we held two learning events for the BBO projects. These slides provide an overview of the day.

Cross Cutting Themes Webinar

On 5th December 2017 we held a learning webinar on the theme of Cross Cutting Themes.  The webinar shared guidance, best practice and tools on how to implement CCTs and particularly how to develop and monitor an action plan.  We also heard from  the Empowering Enterprise 18-24 project on how their BBO project is addressing CCTs. The slides and webinar recording are available for those who were able to join the webinar.

BBO Newsletter

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Building Better Opportunities