In April 2012, Clyde Regional Scout Council, in partnership with Kelvin Valley District, Girlguiding Dunbartonshire and the Scottish Prison Service established a prison based Scout & Guide Group at HMP Low Moss. The work to support the starting of this new Group was carried out first, as part of the Region’s Development Project and since March 2014, the Group has been supported by a part-time member of staff, leading and supporting the volunteer team.
Unsurprisingly the project is attracting considerable attention from both internal and external audiences. Being ‘a first’ for Scouting in the UK, there is need for Clyde Region to be able to support the development and sharing of good practice and to help inform others, how this might be rolled out as a wider project across The Scout Association and Girlguiding UK. Therefore an evaluation project will be undertaken to help inform the future direction of Scouting in Prisons across the wider Scouting and Girlguiding movements.
Heriot Watt University’s School of Management & Languages have a agreed to go into partnership with us and fund the majority of the costs of the evaluation project, under the guise of a PhD scholarship. The evaluation will be overseen by Professors Umit Bititci and Robert MacIntosh with the work being carried out by students working towards a PhD in their school. It is proposed that someone be appointed by July to ensure that the full scope of the project can get underway during October 2015.
As well as evaluating the project at HMP Low Moss, the wider PhD research seeks to establish a methodology for evaluating complex, inter-organisational projects in ways which allow stakeholders, including funding agencies, to assess the overall effectiveness and value-for-money represented by collaborative working. Whilst the focus of the research would be performance evaluation of complex inter-organisational projects, the integration of project specific performance measures with “business as usual” performance measures of the individual organisations will also be investigated to identify and develop appropriate managerial routines and review processes to enable the collaborating organisations to effectively collaborate.