2 Introduction

In January 2010 Paul Hamlyn Foundation commissioned BOP Consulting to work closely with staff, advisors and trustees on a mid-term review of the Foundation’s Strategic Plan for the period covering 2006-2012. The brief was to lead on the three main objectives of the review:

  • To review progress in implementing the aims and objectives of the Plan
  • To provide an assessment of the Foundation’s impact and effectiveness
  • To consider changes in the internal environment and how these have affected the Foundation’s pursuit of its aims and objectives

The consultants were also asked to address six cross-cutting questions:

  1. What is the Foundation learning in the process of implementing the Strategic Plan and how is it using and transferring that knowledge?
  2. What is the relative contribution of Special Initiatives and Open Grants to the achievement of the aims and objectives of the Strategic Plan?
  3. In the light of the above, does further consideration need to be given to the balance between Special Initiatives and Open Grants?
  4. Is the allocation of resources between programmes appropriate and fit for purpose?
  5. Is there an appropriate balance between innovation and ‘scaling up’?
  6. Is the size and speed of the Special Initiatives fit for purpose?

The consultants approached the brief through:

  • Desk research and analysis. We have examined a range of internal documents (committee reports, reviews, evaluations) as well as financial and grantee data held in the GIFTS database. See Appendices 2, 3 and 5
  • Regular contact with senior officers, who have guided us through existing internal data and shared their insights
  • A workshop with staff in which focused on assessing the Foundation’s progress in pursuing its aims in research and capacity building
  • Face-to-face interviews with trustees
  • Interviews with advisors. We also attended a special meeting of advisors dealing with the subjects of innovation and participation. See Appendix 4
  • Structured discussions with critical friends and stakeholders. We hosted two focus groups and have also interviewed individuals by phone. See Appendix 4

This report summarises the data, analysis and insights gathered from the different strands of the work. It starts by highlighting the main achievements of the last four years. It goes on to report on progress against objectives and provides an assessment of the impact of the Foundation’s work, proposing a new impact reporting framework for future use. It then addresses the six cross cutting question in the brief. The report concludes by highlighting the key issues to be considered by the trustees, advisors and the executive.