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Developing Evaluation Framework for Design Support Programme

At the end of September, User-Factor partners came together for the fourth time to learn together and exchange their experiences from across the Atlantic regions.  The partnership meeting hosted by Innovalia Association took place in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. We kicked the meeting off with an update from all the partners on the progress in the implementation of their pilot programmes:

  • PDR has completed the first phase of Cardiff Market project to explore ‘how might we improve the experience in the market with service design approach. You can find the report here: Cardiff Market Project Report
  • Scottish Enterprise together with PDR, conducted evaluation of their current support programme ‘By Design’ grant in order to introduce improvements focused on businesses’ experience of receiving support. Based on recommendations from evaluation report, Scottish Enterprise will pilot new approaches to providing their support. Report will be published soon – stay tuned!
  • Galician Agency of Innovation has recruited the cohort of 25 SMEs for their pilot programme and is currently halfway through conducting design diagnostics with them in order to provide tailored advisory service.
  • Innovalia is currently at the application selection stage for their training and mentorship programme La Factoría de Diseño.
  • SPI has started collaboration with Porto Design Factory to also develop a training and mentoring programme for Porto-based SMEs and start-ups.
  • Enterprise Ireland has launched a tender process for provision of their design intervention. The support will include design diagnostic, training and one-to-one consultancy at company’s premises, as well as a final event for all supported businesses.
  • Northern Ireland Innovation Lab has delivered the first round of SME Survival one-to-one consultancy that introduced SMEs to design method and tools. In the next steps, iLab will offer two-day design training during upcoming Belfast Design Week on 4th and 5th
  • Brittany Chamber of Commerce had developed a suite of support instruments that include not only individual tailored advisory service to SMEs, but also a series of workshops focused on different sectors and design methods, as well as community building activities for designers.

We are excited to see how our pilot support programmes are taking shape and are being implemented. This has provided a perfect background and opportunity to discuss the theme of our knowledge exchange workshop, which was ‘Monitoring and Performance Assessment’ of design interventions. PDR, the lead partner of User-Factor project, has presented a selection of different studies of value of design, from evaluations of the impact of design sector on the economy, evaluations of specific design policies and programmes to studies of the effects of design interventions in individual enterprises. Based on that knowledge, partners worked collaboratively in groups to propose a framework for evaluating our design interventions. Because our pilot programmes are different, each partner will adopt the framework to specific characteristics of their programme. Nevertheless, to ensure comparable data we will select common indicators for all the interventions in three evaluation categories:

  • Business culture and design leadership,
  • Business performance,
  • Support experience.

Stay in touch to see how our design interventions are being implemented and bring about user-centred change in supported businesses!

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