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As Principal Investigator for the independent evaluation of Q, my role is not always a straightforward one. Unlike what people think of as a ‘traditional’ evaluation, in which we would come in at the end of a project or programme to assess the impact post-hoc, we’ve been embedded within the Q team right from the 2015 co-design year.

In doing so, RAND Europe has taken the role of a ‘critical friend’ of the Q team: independent of the Health Foundation, but closely following the development of Q. We’ve been able to use learnings from the evaluation to help shape the development of Q as it’s grown from a small community of a few hundred to the 3000+ members it has across the UK today.

We’ve been able to use learnings from the evaluation to help shape the development of Q as it’s grown from a small community of a few hundred to the 3000+ members it has across the UK today.

It’s difficult to believe that we’re coming to the end of this first evaluation of Q. Over the past few years, many of you in Q will have received email invitations from my evaluation team at RAND Europe, asking you to participate in surveys or interviews – and we’re very grateful to those of you who have taken the time to share your experiences. It’s been a long road to this moment: we’ve conducted dozens of interviews and focus groups, attended Q events across the UK, run multiple surveys to track the opinions and experiences of members across the years, and coordinated a network of citizen ethnographers to report on their Q experience.

Now, as we bring this phase to a close with our final evaluation report in spring 2020, it’s time for my team to put together a summative assessment of the impact of Q.

With a network like Q, understanding the impact is always going to be challenging. We’ve heard stories of members who have used Q resources to undertake sustained improvement activities in their own organisation; members who have met at a Q event, then collaborated independently of Q; and members who feel that Q hasn’t yet provided the resources or structure needed for them to overcome the barriers to improvement work in their own organisations or work environments.

As we found in the last survey, members engage with Q in very different ways depending on their background, setting and roles. At this final stage of our evaluation, it’s important for us to get a rich and in-depth picture of the myriad of ways that people are using Q and the impact this has had on their sector and organisation. Most importantly, we want to know what Q could be doing better to help you overcome the challenges you face in your improvement work.

Although Q will continue to be evaluated beyond March 2020, this is the last member survey we’ll run during our evaluation.

In the last week, all members should have received an email invitation to take part in our final member survey for the 2020 evaluation. If you haven’t, get in touch with us and we’ll make sure you can contribute. Although Q will continue to be evaluated beyond March 2020, this is the last member survey we’ll run during our evaluation. As such, we’re keen to get responses from as many members as possible, new and old, about how they themselves see the value and impact of Q in their work, and how Q can evolve and improve to better fit member needs. We’d greatly appreciate if you could take 10-15 minutes to answer the questions, and let us know your thoughts.

Many thanks in advance from us at the evaluation team for your participation – and look out for our final evaluation report in 2020 which we will be sharing with the Q team and members next spring. Until then, you can always reach the evaluation team via email.

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