Since 2015, the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has commissioned independent evaluators, Coffey International, to evaluate the Newton Fund. The evaluation looks at how the goal of the Newton Fund is being met and whether that represents good value for money. Reports on different phases of the evaluation are below:
Evaluation strategy report: This presents the evaluation approach to reviewing the Newton Fund. The report includes a ‘theory of change’ which will be used to identify the expected pathways of change and impacts achieved, the final evaluation design, implementation plan, assessment of impact of Newton activities, a process evaluation and value for money assessment.
Baseline report: This captures the extent of science and innovation research capacity in the 15 initial Newton partner countries at the outset of the Newton Fund, using data from international organisations and relevant background literature. The report provides a baseline against which to measure programme outcomes and outputs which will be measured in the evaluation of the Fund.
Note: the findings in this report, figures and partner countries are correct as of August 2016 (based on information that ran up until 2014).
Process evaluation report: This report examines the efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of the Newton Fund. Reviews and interviews with stakeholders were used to investigate the evidence, and findings were triangulated to develop a more comprehensive picture of programme delivery.
The report finds that since the initial roll out, the Newton Fund has undergone important developments in terms of how it is run, as well as fine-tuning of its objectives. There is evidence that the Newton Fund supports partnerships that promote economic development and welfare, and that the flexibility around 'match' is one of the key successes. The report makes a number of recommendations which are being taken forward by BEIS.
Mid-term evaluation report: This report evaluates the Fund’s relevance, effectiveness and additionality, as well as the potential for impact and sustainability in the first four years of the Fund's implementation. It uses the 'theory of change' to test the proposed pathways of change. Coffey conducted document reviews, online and telephone surveys of grant recipients, a process evaluation, interviews, and a series of thematic impact studies covering eight of the Fund's partner countries.
The report finds that the Newton Fund is being used to improve the capacity of individuals and institutions to deliver high quality science, generate new international collaborations and develop solutions aimed at tackling development issues. Through it the UK has developed new collaborations, providing access to knowledge not previously available. BEIS are now taking forward the report's recommendations.