Evaluation of Homelessness Prevention Innovation Fund Projects

DescriptionThe Homelessness Prevention Innovation Fund (HPIF) supported 8 projects with the aim of stimulating innovation in homelessness prevention. This report draws together lessons from across the HPIF projects to provide local evidence of effectiveness, national learning about homelessness prevention and lessons about effective evaluation practice.
ISBN9780755973088
Official Print Publication DateNovember 2008
Website Publication DateNovember 25, 2008

Listen

By Cathy Sharp and Lucy Robertson

ISBN 978 0 7559 7308 8 (Web only publication)

This document is also available in pdf format (656k)

CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
Context
Research Aims and Objectives
Methodology
Structure of the report

CHAPTER 2: HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION - DEFINITION AND INNOVATION
Defining homelessness prevention
The Homelessness Prevention Innovation Fund: Project Profiles
The Challenges for Monitoring and Evaluation

CHAPTER 3: INNOVATION IN HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION - CASE STUDIES
Case studies
Case Study 1: Safe as Houses ( SAH) - City of Edinburgh
Case study 2: Multi-Agency Training Tool - East Dunbartonshire
Case Study 3: East Lothian - Domestic Abuse Resource Pack
Case Study 4: CAB Rent Arrears Project - East Lothian
Case Study 5: Glasgow Housing and Employment Service
Case Study 6: Falkirk Anger Management
Case Study 7: Tayside Accommodation and Skills Project
Case Study 8: Women in Sport and Health ( WISH) Forth Valley

CHAPTER 4: HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION - WHAT WORKS?
Overall lessons about homelessness prevention
Ensure interventions draw on evidence of the needs and preferences of communities
Think about context: not everything transfers
Think about homelessness prevention as a process and an event
Map the links between activities and outcomes in advance
Clarify the focus of the intervention
Address the barriers to joint working and better working relationships
Be clear about referral criteria and motivation
Address stigma - make it 'normal'
Think about the timing of the intervention
Build and maintain strong partnership arrangements
Be flexible and responsive within a broad framework
Remodel existing housing support models for young people leaving care
Address barriers to access and sustainability
Provide options to stay put: break the link between domestic violence and homelessness
Make a sanctuary option core business: 'part of the way of working'
Provide information about rights and options

CHAPTER 5: LESSONS FOR THE EVALUATION OF HOMELESSNESS PREVENTION AND PROGRAMME DESIGN
Lessons of evaluation practice for funders and commissioners
Be clear about expectations
Allow time to develop robust proposals
Recognise a variety of sources of evidence to inform practice
Prioritise evaluation and provide support early on
Expect an outcome focus in project proposals
Make the monitoring and evaluation framework meaningful
Be proportionate in expectations and identify funding for evaluation
Lessons for projects and evaluation methodology
Evaluate in partnership - agree what success would look like
Measure and map outcomes
Be formative, flexible and appreciative
Review administrative recording systems
Consider how to make best use of any external input
Involve clients in a real not tokenistic way

CHAPTER 6: SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
What is effective homelessness prevention?
Lessons for programme development and evaluation practice
Practical steps for more effective practice
Concluding comments

ANNEX 1: GOOD PRACTICE GUIDANCE

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors would like to thank all the eight HPIF projects for their participation in this work. Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the authors. They are also responsible for the views expressed and conclusions drawn.

The views expressed in this report are those of the researcher and
do not necessarily represent those of the Department or Scottish Ministers.

This report is available on the Scottish Government Social Research website only
www.scotland.gov.uk/socialresearch.