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Commissioning possible: seventh Programme Insight launched

This Realising Ambition briefing explores evidence-based commissioning, challenges to adopting it and how these might be overcome.

17 February 2017

Realising Ambition has launched its seventh Programme Insight, one of a series of short briefings sharing key learning from the programme.

Titled Commissioning possible, the Insight considers key issues evidence-based commissioning is presenting to commissioners. It then offers learning from the Realising Ambition delivery organisations on the role that evidence has played as they have engaged commissioners with their preventative services.

It also examines the Realising Ambition Confidence Framework. This resource helps to assess services’ and their delivery organisations’ ability to achieve outcomes while identifying areas for development, adaptation and refinement. It can assist commissioners to make more informed decisions about which services and which organisations can achieve better outcomes for children and young people.

Key learning points include:

  • the principles of good commissioning are being applied by an increasing number of commissioners, but too many decisions are based on price.
  • there has been some movement towards commissioners assessing the evidence-base of services and indicators of organisational strength, however this is patchy.
  • evidence should be used to improve a service, or an organisation, not just prove it works.
  • relationships between commissioners and service providers remains the critical factor but this takes time and capacity to develop and is a challenge for smaller organisations that want to spread or scale their evidenced services.
  • the Realising Ambition Confidence Framework is a dynamic tool that can help commissioners to assess the strengths of an organisation and the effectiveness of its service.

This briefing builds on previous Insights which explore topics ranging from the value of replication to organisational readiness to replicate.

Realising Ambition is a £25million Big Lottery Fund programme supporting 22 organisations across the UK to replicate services that help young people to avoid pathways into offending. Our Insights are designed to support anyone undertaking or commissioning services with a focus on replication and evidence.

Further information