Public Sector Network Tender Alert


Opportunity Areas (OA) - Place-Based Evaluation

Expressions of Interest (EOIs) are being sought to deliver a qualitative evaluation of the Opportunity Areas Programme. This evaluation will principally involve qualitative research across the 12 Opportunity Areas that focuses on programme beneficiaries as well as delivery partners. It will build the evidence base on the extent to which location/place, (e.g. rural, coastal or urban regions) affects the implementation, deliverability of local interventions. The final research findings will help inform the programme, department, and others, in tackling similar educational priorities in different areas or regions. An EOI and tender exercise was originally carried out for this project in the summer of 2019. We are now looking to re-procure the project with a reduced scope and budget of maximum £200,000. The research design should allow for research/ data collection to be conducted in all 12 OAs -although the level of depth in understanding may differ across areas. Research should aim to engage beneficiaries of the programme and explore their experiences. It should also explore perspectives of delivery staff and partners to gain a good understanding of delivery in different contexts. The fieldwork will be expected to run from shortly after the project initiation to Autumn 2021 - with interim findings shared with DfE at suitable points. We expect suppliers to need to conduct at least two waves of data collection. We expect potential bidders to provide a rationale for fieldwork timings. If two waves of data collection were used, we envision that the first wave of fieldwork is likely to focus on reflecting back on years 1-3 of the programme, Covid-19 and set-up of delivery changes in year 4. Whilst the second wave of fieldwork, could build on this and additionally explore how these delivery changes in year 4 have been operationalised and provide some early indication on potential benefits from this. Potential bidders are invited to suggest innovative and agile methodological approaches that would meet the research objectives of this project. This research will build on published outputs from the OA programme and other existing qualitative data captured during the previous evaluation opportunities. Data from these waves will be made available to the successful bidder. We also expect the contractor to draw on the monitoring data where necessary and to liaise with analysts working on other areas of the evaluation The contractor will be expected to produce an overarching research report combining all fieldwork, data collection and analysis. This should, where possible, be supplemented with previous data collected as well as relevant monitoring data. We will also ask for interim reporting to ensure we are capturing learning and feeding this back into the programme at required stages (frequency and format, but we envisage this will include at least one interim report in the first quarter of 2021).


Katharine Beaney
Sanctuary Buildings
Great Smith Street

Contract value: 200000

Published: 3 Aug 2020, Receipt by: 17 Aug 2020