Collaborative Communities programme – final evaluation

CMI evaluated the Collaborative Communities project. Led by Carmarthenshire County Council on behalf of a partnership of four Local Authorities in West Wales (Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Swansea and Neath Port Talbot) and the corresponding CVCs, this ERDF project combined business advice with a business development grant to strengthen social enterprise in South West Wales. The overall aim of the project was to stimulate and strengthen a social enterprise role specifically in the delivery of public services.
The evaluation combined a strategic review of the partnership and the position of the project activities in relation to partners’ wider objectives and activities with an assessment of the project’s effectiveness and a good practice review (e.g. Cyfenter and Rhyl City Strategy).
An understanding of the role of social enterprise in community regeneration was at the heart of this piece of work considering how its role in stimulating community pride, improving the provision of services and nurturing the economic fabric of places can best be supported. A beneficiary survey, stakeholder interviews and several workshops with the Steering Group and delivery team provided rich results on the experiences of social enterprises. The good practice research was used to stimulate thinking about how to develop follow-on activities for the eight organisations involved and helped identify generic choices for future social enterprise support projects.
Client: Carmarthenshire County Council

Review of the opportunities for creation of a public service delivery consortium

Commissioned by the Wales Co-operative Centre on behalf of a partnership with the WCVA and Community Housing Cymru CM International completed a study into market opportunities for a new Welsh public service delivery consortium vehicle.
In a first stage, CM International undertook extensive market research to provide an assessment of the market opportunity to deliver consortium services. We developed a quantitative and qualitative understanding of the opportunities for social enterprises to develop joint bids in a range of different areas (e.g. ) on the one hand and the demand for support in bidding for such opportunities from social enterprises themselves – and therefore the three commissioning organisations to play a role – on the other.
This helped scope out the potential role for a social business consortium to bid, win and deliver public service contracts on behalf of social enterprises in Wales. On that basis a series of options were developed for how the three partners might jointly make further support available to help social enterprises win public sector contracts in the range of different market segments identified.
Five options were presented for a detailed discussion with the consortium partners with two of them being developed further with a view to their implications in terms of legal structure, management and governance and relevant financing and funding considerations. Finally, CMI formulated a series of recommendations for the way forward for the three partners.
Client: Wales Co-operative Centre

Building Enterprise Community Housing Cymru (2014/15)

CHC commissioned CM International to undertake the final evaluation of its ERDF Priority 5 Theme 2 funded Building Enterprise (BE) project. The BE project offered business development support to Registered Social Landlords and social enterprises. The first phase of the evaluation helped fine-tune interventions during the final months of the BE project before considering the overall project achievements when the project drew to a close in April 2015.
We used a developmental evaluation approach in order to build on the explicit assumption that as a highly innovative project, Building Enterprise needed to continually adapt and fine-tune its programme model; this needed to be embraced as part of the intervention logic.
The evaluation fine-tuned the understanding of the project’s interventions and considered the project’s achievements in quantitative and qualitative terms. The methodology combined stakeholder interviews, including with similar projects delivered by partner organisations, and interactive opportunities for reflection with the BE Steering Group. A survey of beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries allowed a consideration of specific results delivered for the organisations using BE support and an understanding of why organisations chose to work with BE, or not.
Client: Community Housing Cymru