Case Study

Monitoring and Evaluation of the Creative Spark Programme

Client: British Council | Sectors: Social Policy

Ecorys leading a 5-year evaluation of the British Council’s Creative Spark programme

Launched in 2018, the British Council’s Creative Spark: Higher Education Enterprise Programme supports the development of enterprise education and the creative economies across seven countries in Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan), South Caucasus (Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia) and Ukraine. The programme provides funding to 50 partnerships between UK and local Higher Education and creative institutions to develop projects that provide young people with enterprise skills and build cultural ties.

Partnerships involve over 100 institutions that embarked on a variety of different journeys. To name a few: the creation of a start-up mentor matching network in Armenia, the development of creative entrepreneurship curricula in Georgia, the launch of a Creative Enterprise Hub in Kazakhstan, the design of a toolkit for entrepreneurship education in Kyrgyzstan, the setup of a bootcamp programme in Ukraine, and the adoption of a new teaching approach for spurring students’ entrepreneurial mindset in Uzbekistan.

In partnership with IFF Research, Ecorys has been designing and implementing a longitudinal monitoring and evaluation system to assess the contribution of Creative Spark to youth skills development, capacity-building of higher education and creative institutions, and systemic change in the seven target countries over the life of the programme. In Year 1, the team established a baseline and assessed the progress made against targets. Quantitative fieldwork included surveys of partners and programme beneficiaries, whilst qualitative work included interviews with policy makers and seven country visits to engage with partners, beneficiaries, and observe activities.

The team kicked off the second year of the evaluation by revising the Theory of Change and analytical framework and adapting the M&E approach to account for unexpected Y1 outcomes. Y2 novelties include new data collection tools (e.g. a bespoke tracker to capture systemic-level change), amends to account for the impact of COVID-19 on the programme delivery, and a revised scope to capture Creative Spark’s contribution to COVID-19 recovery.

Key Experts

Korina Cox Technical Director Olivia Geymond Senior Research Manager