Assessing the achievements of SPHEIR programme: Read the SPHEIR Mid-Term Evaluation Report - and hear from the evaluation team how they measured impact, outcomes and effectiveness of the programme.

The SPHEIR mid-term evaluation was conducted by a consortium comprising Triple Line Consulting, Technopolis Group and the University of Bedfordshire. The purpose of the mid-term evaluation is to capture progress against the outcomes, results and achievements of the SPHEIR programme. It reports on progress against indicators since baseline and sets the stage for the summative, end-line evaluation, where it will be possible to assess the achievements of the programme as a whole in terms of intermediate outcomes and early contribution towards longer term outcomes and impact.

The over-arching framework for the evaluation is designed to measure impact, outcomes and effectiveness of the programme, and provide evidence of what works and why, at five different levels of assessment i.e. at the levels of higher education system, sector/employer (world of work), higher education institution (partnership), educator/lecturer and students. 

The mid-term evaluation covers four out of five levels of the assessment in full: the world of work level is covered only partially and will be a focus for the summative evaluation as it will draw on evidence from a graduate tracer study, testing the effects of the new ways of teaching and learning on the skills and competences of the students as they enter the labour market.

As the mid-term evaluation was conducted in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the evaluation team could not undertake field work in SPHEIR countries. Necessary methodological adaptations included conducting all interviews remotely and replacing student and lecturer focus groups with “stories” documenting student and educator experiences. 

The evaluation team would like to thank the SPHEIR Fund Management team and all SPHEIR partners for their flexibility and cooperation in supporting the successful completion of the mid-term evaluation at a time when all were struggling to cope with the impact of the pandemic.

The overall conclusion of the mid-term evaluation is that the SPHEIR programme is on track to achieve the programme objectives. Taking into account some revision of targets in light of COVID-19, good progress is being made towards the delivery of intended outputs and outcomes, and the evaluation concludes that the strategic partnership model is itself, a key factor supporting successful programme performance.

The evaluation team