Project: Advice in Community Settings Grant Evaluation

Client: Greater London Authority

We have been commissioned by the Greater London Authority (GLA) to conduct an evaluation into their Advice in Community Settings (AiCS) grant programme. Together with our colleagues at Wavehill, we have been working with eleven advice partnerships as well as the GLA to understand the impact of the funding.

The Advice in Community Settings programme aims to improve access to quality, independent advice for Londoners experiencing financial hardship. The project invited advice services to form partnerships with local community settings, such as schools and foodbanks. These partnerships then work together to deliver advice to best support local residents.

As a result, eleven advice partnerships were formed, spanning London and targeting a wide range of vulnerable groups. The GLA wanted to understand the effectiveness of the programme in delivering its aims, as well as the impact of the funding on the partnerships themselves and how effectively they worked together.

The objectives of the evaluation work were to:

  • Develop a single evaluation framework with advice partnerships to monitor, measure and understand the impact of their interventions both individually and collectively
  • Support advice partnerships to use the evaluation framework effectively and efficiently to measure progress against the key outcomes
  • Work with the GLA team on a process evaluation, developing a depper understanding of the wider programme outcomes to help inform a strategic future approach
  • Share and apply learning to other projects and programmes for greater impact as appropriate


  • We worked alongside the eleven advice partnerships to co-create a Theory of Change, through four workships with partnership staff, GLA staff, key partners and stakeholders. The Theory of Change established the ultimate goal of the programme and the key inputs, outputs and barriers on the journey to that goal
  • Informed by the Theory of Change, we built an evaluation framework, incorporating all data collection methods and how these would work together to effectively monitor progress and impact
  • To enable efficient data collection, we built a bespoke management information system that could be used by all eleven advice partnerships, regardless of delivery method or location
  • Our colleagues at Wavehill conducted qualitative interviews with clients, to understand the effect of the advice on their confidence and wellbeing, and assess how satisfied they were with the advice provided
  • We analysed the data gathered, providing information on:
    • The demographic make-up of those accessing advice as part of the programme, and how this compares to the demographics of Londoners as a whole
    • The proportion of clients who had never accessed advice before, and whether the programme was indeed reaching new and under-served communities
    • The impact of the programme on clients, including the impact on their health and wellbeing as well as relevant financial outcomes
    • How effective the programme had been at improving partnership working between advice services and community settings