Realising Ambition

Support and evaluation of a £25m investment in the replication of promising and evidence-based interventions across the UK

Realising Ambition

Support and evaluation of a £25m investment in the replication of promising and evidence-based interventions across the UK

About

Project lead: Tim Hobbs, PhD

Realising Ambition is a UK-wide £25m Big Lottery Fund programme replicating 25 services aimed at preventing children and young people from entering the criminal justice system. Launched in 2012, the five year programme is providing grant funding and specialist support to 22 organisations to refine and build the evidence base of their services.

 

 

Realising Ambition aims to:

  • Improve the evidence base of what works, for whom and why in avoiding pathways into offending
  • Promote learning about what it takes to replicate evidence-based interventions
  • Help commissioners to ask the right questions about evidence, practice and impact.

The programme is being led by Catch22 with the DSRUSubstance and the Young Foundation as consortium partners.

Details of the 25 delivery projects can be found here

 

Our role

DSRU is providing specialist support to 25 delivery projects across the UK to support service refinement and help them build their evidence-base. We are conducting a programme-level impact evaluation: incorporating cost-benefit analysis, routinely collected outcome and fidelity monitoring data and progression against our Standards of Evidence.

We are leading on the development of the Realising Ambition ‘Programme Insight’ series - a 12-part output sharing learning from the programme about replication - and working with our consortium partners to manage the delivery of the programme.

 

In addition, we are undertaking three randomised controlled trials: two full trials and one feasibility and pilot trial see:

These will report in 2017. 

 

 

Funders and collaborators

Funder: Realising Ambition is a £25m investment by the Big Lottery Fund

Collaborators:  Consortium led by Catch22 with Substance and the Young Foundation

 

Duration: April 2012 - June 2017

Outputs and resources

Programme Insight Series

Rather than writing a long evaluation report at the end of the five-year programme – which would likely be read by very few people – we are instead producing a series of 12 Programme Insights.

Each of these Programme Insights is designed to share reflections, learning and practical implications from Realising Ambition. By sharing ideas, successes, challenges and even some mistakes, we hope to support and inspire others considering, undertaking or commissioning their own replication journey. Find out more here

  • Issue 1: The Secret Life of Innovation: Replication; Defining success in replicating services for children and young people

In the first of our Programme Insights, we explore the topic of replication: delivering a service into new geographical areas or to new or different audiences. We examine the reasons for replicating in children’s services, the ingredients for successful replication and the stages involved. We also explore the links between replication and innovation – two concepts that are not as different as they might appear. See Programme Insight - The Secret Life of Innovation

  • Issue 2: Evidence is Confidence: How to create a richer evidential tapestry

In the second of our Programme Insights series, we explore the role of evidence in the context of replication. In particular, we argue for a broader, more nuanced view of evidence, one that is non-sequential and proportionate. Evidence is not the unequivocal truth: evidence is confidence. See Programme Insight - Evidence is Confidence

Design and Refine

In addition to the Programme Insight series, we have also produced Design and Refine: a guide to developing interventions for children and young people and planning for their implementation. Download it here

 

 

Innovation to evidence-based practice webinar series

During the first year of the Realising Ambition programme we produced a six-part webinar series, introducing key concepts to service design and implementation. These webinars will be of interest to charities interested in developing promising innovations into evidence-based programmes. You can view recordings of the six webinars by clicking on the titles below:

  • Developing intervention manuals: Why projects need manuals; the challenges in using manuals; how programme manuals can be adapted; and how manuals should be written.
  • Serving the right people: The importance of serving the right people; how to select and screen to ensure your intervention serves the right people; the difference between need and demand and how to measure this; and factors influencing recruitment and retention.
  • Defining intervention activities: The importance of specifying and distinguishing between core and flexible components of an intervention, and how this links with fidelity measurement.
  • Monitoring intervention fidelity: The importance of fidelity when developing and replicating interventions, the ways that fidelity can be measured and how this data can be used to inform service delivery. 

Resources

The Secret Life of Innovation: Realising Ambition Programme Insight #1

/ Report

The first in our series of learning from the Big Lottery Fund Realising Ambition programme. This piece focuses on why replication of effective services is important, what successful replication looks like, and how replication helps pave the way for innovation.

Link: view report

Design & Refine

/ Report

A guide to developing effective interventions for children and young people.

Link: view report

Specifying the financial and human resource needed for your intervention

/ Video

A webinar on how to specify the financial and human resources needed to implement an intervention.

Link: view video

Developing intervention manuals

/ Video

A webinar on why programmes need manuals, the challenges in using manuals, and how programme manuals can be written and adapted.

Link: view video

Serving the right people

/ Video

A webinar on how to ensure that an intervention serves the right people, the difference between need and demand and how to measure these, and factors influencing recruitment and retention.

Link: view video

Developing a logic model or theory of change

/ Video

A webinar on why logic models or theories of change are important, and how to go about developing one for an intervention. 

Link: view video

Defining intervention activities

/ Video

A webinar on why logic models or theories of change are important, and how to go about developing one for an intervention. 

Link: view video

Monitoring intervention fidelity

/ Video

A webinar on the  importance of fidelity when developing and replicating interventions, how to measure fidelity, and using fidelity data to inform service delivery.

Link: view video

Evidence is Confidence: Realising Ambition Programme Insight #2

/ Paper

The second in our series of learning from the Big Lottery Fund Realising Ambition programme. This piece is focused on the role of evidence when replicating services for children. Evidence is confidence, not the unequivocal truth. 

Link: view paper

Dismantling the hierarchy: Realising Ambition Programme Insight #3

/ Paper

The third in our series of learning from the Big Lottery Fund Realising Ambition programme focuses on the iterative nature of service improvement and how generating evidence is a continuous process.

Link: view paper

Proving vs improving: Realising Ambition Programme Insight #4

/ Paper

In the fourth in our series of learning from this Big Lottery programme we focus on interim data on the outcomes of beneficiaries served by projects.

Link: view paper

Doing randomised controlled trials in the real world: Realising Ambition Programme Insight #6

/ Report

In the sixth of our series of learning from this Big Lottery programme we take a frank look at the process of doing real-world RCTs and draw out some lessons for funders, evaluators and intervention developers and providers.

Link: view report