A Better Start Southend
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Formative Evaluation: University of Essex

A Better Start Southend: Programme Evaluation Partnership

The A Better Start Southend Programme Evaluation Partnership is an exciting development in the ABSS programme, and will contribute to our ambitions for young children and their families in Southend.

In March 2020, the University of Essex’s Division of Social Work and Social Justice at the School of Health and Social Care came on board to support ABSS with the evaluation of the ABSS programme.

Their focus is on the Formative evaluation, looking primarily at the effectiveness of individual projects and people’s experiences taking part. In summer 2022, they examined common themes reported across all of the projects, and a report based on this Thematic Analysis can be accessed [here]

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Summative Evaluation: RSM UK

The impact of the A Better Start Southend programme

ABSS has appointed RSM UK Consulting LLP to independently evaluate the impact of the A Better Start Southend programme.

The independent Summative Evaluation of ABSS will identify the impact that the ABSS programme as a whole has had for children and families in Southend. RSM will conduct research at three crucial points, in 2021/22, 2023 and 2024, collecting and evaluating evidence on ABSS Programme-wide outcomes, along with our academic partner, the University of Essex.

Phase 1 findings

The first evaluation report is now available. A Summary setting out the key findings is available [here] while the Full Report can be downloaded [here].

Phase 2 findings 

The findings from Phase 2 are based on the research activities conducted between March and September 2023. A Summary setting out the key findings is available [here] while the Full Report can be downloaded [here].

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Our research

The impact of COVID-19 on families and services in Southend 

Early figures on COVID-related deaths suggest that individuals in areas of economic deprivation are more likely to die as a result of the virus than those in the least deprived areas. We began research in collaboration with the University of Essex into the experiences of families living within our wards during COVID-19 and subsequent government guidance.

Click here to be redirected to the COVID-19 research web page.


Get involved!

Any new research opportunities which require input from Southend families and organisations will be shared here.