The overall aim of the MSPV programme was to improve the sustainability of social enterprises across Merseyside by developing their capacity to access and deliver public sector contracts. Programme interventions were designed to ‘build a bridge’ between social enterprises and public procurers to:
- inform social enterprises of the requirements of procurers; and
- Inform/educate procurers of the benefits of working with the sector and ways of addressing the barriers faced by social enterprises.
AMION delivered an interim report which provided a formative evaluation of the MSPV partnership and programme. The report reviewed the scope of the programme and reported on the key findings with regard to its design and delivery and provided conclusions and recommendations for its ongoing delivery including immediate changes to improve overall impact. The final report reviewed and evaluated the overall MSPV, including:
- the management and delivery arrangements;
- actual performance, both qualitative and quantitative, compared with the projections;
- conclusions concerning the programme’s relevance; its effectiveness; efficiency and value for money; the impact and added value of the interventions and the sustainability of the impacts; and
- recommendations to improve the programme and wider changes to improve the sustainability of social enterprises.
To do this, AMION undertook:
- a review of documentation including contracts, performance reports from individual strategic partners and reports/case studies/toolkits produced by the delivery organisations;
- an interview programme with strategic partners, delivery organisations and social enterprise beneficiaries;
- a questionnaire survey of social enterprises that participated in the programme with telephone interview follow-up; and
- six case studies of individual social enterprises which had participated in the programme. These were important in informing the overall conclusions especially concerning the impact of the interventions on business performance, the relevance of the programme and the implications for future delivery. The case studies involved face-to-face interviews with each of the social enterprises.