Measuring What Matters - Planning to do better

Blog by South Lanarkshire Community Safety Partnership's Unintentional Injuries Group

Finding the most reliable framework for evaluating individual community safety programmes has always been something that we in Community Safety have always strived to achieve.  So, when SCSN invited community safety partners to take part in the ‘Measuring what Matters’ initiative I was eager to apply and delighted when we were chosen to participate.  I be-lieve good evaluation is critical in not only demonstrating success but identifying learning and development requirements.  I look forward to the next phase of the initiative, working along-side ESS and SCSN partners in establishing a framework for what good evaluation looks like for unintentional injuries.

The South Lanarkshire Community Safety Partnership’s Unintentional Injuries Group delivers a wide range of services to help prevent unintentional injury, particularly for people aged 65 and over.  The group consists of a wide range of partners, including the older peo-ple’s panel, Seniors Together, who are currently in the planning stages for a new podiatry service to help older people stay mobile and free from trips and falls. 

As unintentional injuries is one of five community safety priorities, the partnership applied to be part of the Measuring what matters initiative being put forward by the Scottish Community Safety Network (SCSN) and Evaluation Support Scotland (ESS).  

Linda Cunningham, Community Safety Officer, said “Here in South Lanarkshire we under-stand from past experience the need to establish an evaluation framework at the start of the planning process; so being a part of the ‘Measuring what Matters’ initiative was the right time for us in developing a framework that would best serve the new podiatry service currently being developed.”

To assist the Unintentional Injuries Group, including Seniors Together, in developing an eval-uation framework that would be relative to the new podiatry service, ESS facilitated a session to support members in establishing short and medium term measures, along with a number of outcomes to ensure progress could be effectively monitored and evidenced.

Christine Calder, Manager of Seniors Together, who attended the event , said, “ESS were invaluable, not only in helping us develop a draft evaluation framework, but the questions posed by Nicola made us realise that a number of processes for the delivery of an effective podiatry service still needed to be resolved prior to being put into practice.”

The next steps for the group will be to address the outstanding issues for the processes of the new podiatry service.  Once this has been completed, partners, who now feel more compe-tent in achieving this following the ESS session, will be able to finalise an evaluation frame-work to demonstrate how effective the new podiatry service has been in preventing trips and falls in South Lanarkshire.