Evaluating the Community Impact of Shared Reading – A Longitudinal Evaluation Study Measuring the Impact of Community Shared Reading on Social Isolation and Well-being THE READER ORGANISATION Closes 11th March

The Reader is a dynamic national charity and social enterprise, head quartered in Liverpool. The Reader builds stronger and more supportive communities through the unique model of Shared Reading. Shared Reading improves psychological wellbeing, social connectivity and builds a sense of purpose for thousands of people across the UK. — 

Alongside our internal evaluation processes, externally-conducted evaluation projects have a vital role to play in enabling the in-depth insights that snapshot evaluations alone just can’t give. Together with our snapshot data, they help us to build a picture of our impact that has both breadth and depth, showing both our general overall indicative impact and the detail that helps with finer-grained learning and the generation of a more compelling evidence base. —

We have recently completed a process evaluation looking at how we can support our volunteer Reader Leaders to continue to deliver high quality Shared Reading groups sustainably into the future. We now feel that we are in the right place to evaluate the output of these groups, specifically within a community, Public Health context. —

We wish to work with an evaluator who can plan and conduct a longitudinal evaluation/research project to take us to Level 3 in the NESTA Standards of Evidence – that is we want to use a methodology that enables us to have a higher degree of confidence about causality on the outcomes. We foresee this project being a focused, specially recruited project involving a control group comparison, although would be open to other suggestions from an evaluator as to the best approach to have greater confidence in the impact data, and a stronger understanding of causality. It is important to us that the findings give us genuine insights into the effectiveness of our work rather than simply tell us the answers we want to hear. The project should therefore have a rigorous methodology and a large enough population to provide strong and reliable findings. —

The evaluation may have a mix of quantitative and qualitative methods but there should be a focus on quantitative data that could demonstrate a measurable difference between Shared Reading and control/comparison participants. —

The evaluation should be based from our Theory of Change, placing particular importance on evidencing: reductions in social isolation, improvements in well-being, increased sense of purpose in life. —

Where possible we would like to use leading standardised tools that are well respected and translatable to the commissioning audience. The evaluation may use bespoke quantitative measures to reflect the particular impacts of Shared Reading but should also contain standardized items to ensure translatability to a broad commissioning audience. —

We foresee that candidates may include early career researchers, academic teams or independent evaluation bodies. —

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