Learning │ Guidelines and Principles

How has the plan been informed by meaningful engagement with executive teams, beneficiaries (i.e. young people, adults etc), wider experts, reviews of historic practice and other research?

What are we looking for?

We want to understand how the proposed project was developed, and how the need it addresses was identified. We also want to feel confident that the project is likely to reach and have a positive impact on its target population. There are two key aspects we want to encourage applicants to consider and embed through this principle:

  • First, co-production and co-design throughout the project lifecycle. The aim is to demonstrate engagement between project staff, internal colleagues, participants/service users, and external stakeholders where appropriate, leading to outcomes which are amenable to the priorities of all involved.
  • Second, the incorporation of prior learning from other projects, or current best practice/research into the developmental process of the project. The aim is to demonstrate why your particular approach is likely to have a positive impact.

This principle is assessed in the following questions:

  • 2d: How have participants been involved in the development of this project?
  • 2f: Will you be working in partnership?
  • 3a: Why is the issue addressed by your project a key priority? Please explain how you have identified this priority.
  • 3b: Please outline how your project fits, or aligns, with the strategic priorities of your organisation and/or external stakeholders.
  • 4d(i): Does the project lead, or key staff involved in the project have relevant experience in delivering the project activities?

How can this be demonstrated?

Evidence of co-production:

  • Who have you engaged and consulted during the developmental process?
  • What motivations have been identified for beneficiaries and delivery staff to participate?
  • Demonstration of how service users/participants – in this case young people – have been actively involved in the shaping of your project design. How have you taken on board youth voice?
  • What stakeholders have you collaborated with and how?
  • If your project involves reaching out into the local community, the ABCD approach can be a potentially useful framework to consider during the developmental stages.

Evidence of learning and/or innovation:

  • Background research have you done into the topic.
  • References to supporting research, data, and policy/strategy documents, e.g. Social Mobility Commission State of the Nation Reports, MID 2019, school’s teaching and learning strategy etc.
  • Are there current best practices from similar projects, or previous projects that you are aware of which you can incorporate?

Why is this important?

“Co-production, co-creation and co-design puts the very people the project will work with at the centre. This can help ensure the right project is delivered in the right places and in the right way.” Ray Wang, OT Intern and former OAT alumni