Smart Works is a UK charity that helps unemployed women back into the workplace by providing high quality interview clothes, styling advice and interview training. Smart Works aims to give women the confidence and the tools they need to succeed at interview and achieve their employment goals.
What CSAIF funded: Smart Works was awarded £235,000 to develop the processes and systems to replicate the Smart Works model through a licensing approach. New Smart Works Licensees opened up in three new areas in England; Greater Manchester, Reading and Birmingham. They have grown to reach around 3000 people per year across the country, with further potential to grow in these new sites, supported by over 200 highly skilled volunteers around the country. Smart Works were also awarded £20,000 to evaluate the impact of their work. View the full impact evaluation.
Level on Standards: Level 2 - they have captured data that shows positive change, but they cannot confirm they caused this.
Evaluator: The Social Innovation Partnership (TSIP)
Aim: The evaluation of Smart Works aimed to assess how effective the service is at helping unemployed women get back into work.
Why is this a Level 2 Evaluation?
Data on employment status was collected at baseline (implicitly) and at follow-up, showing a large positive change over time. Direct questions at follow-up strongly indicate that some of this change can be attributed to Smart Works, and the large amount of qualitative data on the clients’ positive experience also supports this claim indirectly.
Progress: This evaluation has moved Smart Works from Level 1 to Level 2 on the Standards, through refining their measurement tools and increasing their response rate at follow-up. It has also set the service up to continue collecting and analysing data sustainably, through implementing a new text message data collection system and a new automated analysis tool.
Next steps: Smart Works will use the newly refined measurement tools and process that have increased response rates with licensees to ensure that their service will also be recognised as Level 2 on the Standards of Evidence. The new survey is already in use, and the follow up text message will be used when licensees are moved on to a new database system over summer 2016. The new automated analysis tool will then also be rolled out with licensees.