An exploration into the use of monitoring & evaluation by third sector sports themed employability charities to evidence a social impact
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AbstractThe third sector is under increasing demand to evidence the social impact that it achieves, especially as the government imposes greater financial restrictions (Harlock, 2013). Sport has been used by the third sector as a vehicle to attempt to achieve numerous objectives (Coalter, 2011). These objectives have included, amongst many more, combating crime, stopping racism and integrating immigrants (Coalter, 2011). This research focuses on third sector organisations that use sport to improve employability skills for young people (Roberts, 2016). The mystical power of sport to aid employability skills has been scrutinised for numerous years, without comprehensive results (Spaaij, Magee & Jeanes, 2013). Utilising a qualitative approach, this thesis aims to explore how through the use of Monitoring & Evaluation (M & E), sports themed employability charities can greater evidence their social impact (Arvidson, 2009). The qualitative research initiates with nationwide semi-structured interviews that offer in an in-depth exploration into the demand and realities faced within the third sector (McNiff, 2007). An Action Research period totalling twelve months explores further the realities of working within the third sector and investigates the findings revealed within the nationwide interviews. The Action Research period, completed at a Midlands based sports for good charity, produces immersive data acquired through interviews, observations and fieldwork (Anderson & Herr, 2005). The results identify that the third sector is under serious pressure to evidence impact, and is adjusting to a payments by results culture (Hyndman, 2017). The power struggles between funders, management teams and delivery teams to collate and showcase data for impact are identified (Foucault, 1982). The results expose that M & E can be extremely difficult, especially when attempting to collect data in challenging environments. The expectancy of M & E data collection differs greatly from the reality (Morgan & Costas Battle, 2016). The Action Research element of the thesis offers improvements, both short and long-term, to the host charity, through a collaborative method (Whitehead & McNiff, 2006). The thesis concludes by reviewing the impact of the Action Research at the host charity.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
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