During the COVID-19 Pandemic the pace of activity in Local Government was like nothing we’ve seen in the last 20 years. The public sector had to respond to emergency changes in so many ways for a wide variety of community needs, and action took place fast. Your job was literally about keeping people safe, and you did just that!
With £1.55 billion of unringfenced grants to manage the immediate and long-term impacts, you set to work creating community hubs and helping vulnerable groups to shield. For the first time, you were able to do your job without the layers of bureaucracy. The barrier to healthy transformation was lifted; hierarchies were reduced, and people were trusted and given space to be innovative. Providing parameters and vision but then entrusting people to get on with it brought about success that we simply cannot afford to forget.
It’s fair to say that everyone is experiencing change in a very real and multi-dimensional way this year. We are living through a global pandemic with unprecedented ramifications in all areas of our lives. This has meant people and organisations have been forced to make significant changes to their lifestyles, working styles and operations in a very short space of time with very little time for planning.
This new way of working resulted in faster change and sustainable outcomes, exceeding expectations. Overwhelmed by what you have managed to achieve can make it very difficult to take stock and reflect on how outcomes were truly met. Leadership transformed overnight as local councils successfully steered rapid, dynamic and very public change. People were empowered and collaborated more than ever before, across departments and partnerships. Your teams were starting to enjoy their work. This is because communication was clear and constant, and leadership brought out talent and pride in whole workforces. So, now it’s time to dig deep and reflect on the last 18-months to identify and understand all the successful contributions that made your project vision a reality.
You know what you’ve achieved and now it’s important to remember how you did it. Ask yourself:
- How do you capture your transformation and learn from it?
- How do you put everything you have experienced and use it to make informed choices about the future of your community?
- How do you share your journey with residents, members and partners?
- How do you build a knowledge bank of content for funding applications and awards submissions?
- How can you inform the scrutiny process with case studies that highlight the impact you have had?
The answer is meaningful, independent Evaluation and Review
Capture it. Utilise it. Promote it.
Want to read more? Head over to our full article 'The Value of Evaluation' from our Principal Consultant, Rachael.