Wave 1 Evaluation results

Background of clients

The quantitative data provided information to describe the programme participants (the clients of the guidance programmes) in relation to their socio-demographic characteristics and education and employment background. Qualitative data have shown that the type of clients in GOAL need a custom-fit service tailored to their unique and often complex needs. Counselling processes appear to be highly personalised. 

Who is the client?

client2

 

Local Partnerships

The development and improvement of local partnerships is one of the most important interventions in the project’s field trials. The wave 1 evaluation has shown that the main objectives of these partnerships relate to referral and participation: finding low educated adults and getting them involved in adult education and training. In developing sustainable partnerships, good communication on the purpose and value of guidance should be clear as well as cross-organisational trust in the process.

Counsellors competences

Across all six country reports, emphasis was placed on the importance of personal skills of guidance counsellors working with low-educated adults. Although the guidance services on offer are explicitly designed to help the target group with their education and their careers, in practice, the complex lives many lead mean that a counsellor’s ability to understand, to empathise, and to not be judgemental are critical to the guidance process.

Outreach

For most of the GOAL countries, outreach activities to increase the amount of referrals is focused on employment services, welfare services and educational institutions. Effective outreach strategies are heavily dependent on ensuring that referral partners are familiar with the GOAL service and with what it can deliver for their service users.

Service outcomes

At the end of wave 1 data collection, exit data of clients were limited as most clients were still in guidance.  Therefore no conclusions on the outcomes of the service as such could be made at this phase of the project. 

Service Quality

Based on the feedback of the clients on the sessions themselves, we could however conclude that they perceived the sessions as very positive. The overwhelmingly positive feedback received from service users in the satisfaction survey indicates that for most clients, the GOAL counselling met, or even exceeded, their expectations. Caution is needed regarding these early findings: clients’ positive experiences of GOAL do not necessarily mean they will achieve their desired outcomes; for many clients, there are significant barriers – attitudinal, situational, and more – to overcome.

Click here to download the full cross-country evaluation report.

 

Evaluation Methodology

The methodology for the GOAL evaluation is shaped by the complexities of the project design, namely the facts that:

  • GOAL is multi-site (12 ‘sites’ or locations, that is, two in each of six countries) and multi-organisational.
  • GOAL has multiple objectives.
  • GOAL is predicated on cross-organisational collaboration.
  • Each partner country has its own unique context and target groups (and target numbers to achieve).
  • Programme resources are finite, and should be primarily focused on the interventions rather than the evaluation.

For these reasons it was neither feasible nor advisable to conduct an experimental or quasi-experimental evaluation involving comparison groups. Instead the evaluation draws on two theoretical frameworks: the ‘Theory of Change’ and Realist Evaluation approaches.