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Area Based Childhood Programme National Evaluation

Background

The Area Based Childhood Programme is an area-based prevention and early intervention initiative targeting investment in evidence-informed interventions to improve outcomes for children and families in Ireland.  The Programme is delivered in thirteen different areas of disadvantage around the country and was originally funded by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs (DCYA) and the Atlantic Philanthropies between 2013 and 2017. In 2013 CES was tasked with carrying out the national evaluation of the ABC Programme by the programme funders. 

Our Role

CES designed an evaluation framework for the Programme with the support and advice of an Expert Advisory Group. The CES team conducted literature reviews, consulted with Programme funders and a wide range of groups and experts, including representatives from ABC areas.

The evaluation focused on three aspects of the Programme:

  • Outcomes - what changes happened for children and parents?
  • Implementation – what changes happened for practitioners and service managers locally and nationally?
  • Costs of interventions that were delivered.

CES developed a shared outcomes measurement framework which allowed practitioners across the different areas to use the same questionnaires to collect information on outcomes for parents and children.  Practitioners collected the data as part of their daily work. The CES evaluation team quality assured and carried out the analysis on the data that practitioners collected. The team assessed the implementation of the Programme by collecting evidence through online surveys, and conducting focus groups and interviews with key local, regional and national stakeholders. The team analysed the outcomes, implementation and cost data collected to develop findings and learning from the ABC Programme, to show how it contributed to changes in outcomes.

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