Searchlighter is working chiefly in project implementation by facilitating monitoring & evaluation, and also contributes to other project services, such as planning, process, research, analysis, knowledge transfer, valorisation and exploitation of results. It supplies its professional services within a range of collaborative frameworks, acting across UK, European and International Development Programmes. The organization usually works on project implementation in collaborative and international contexts, broadly focusing on the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) of projects within programmes seeking educational development including cultural innovation, economic empowerment, and social cohesion. A central aim is to engage with projects generating outcomes that can stimulate significant social and economic change.
As a non-profit private organisation, it monitors projects for their economic, social or cultural development, leading to the evaluation of tangible outcomes with a mind to stakeholder engagement and quality of life for project beneficiaries. Drawing on Theory of Change, its M&E strategy relies on monitoring the progress towards achieving outcomes more than simply assessing whether activities have been completed according to the plan, whether the outputs have been delivered, or whether eventual impacts are likely. Their approach to M&E aims to offer regular feedback to the project coordinators, offering solid evidence should there be any need to negotiate adaptation of the plan with the funding agency, and giving the best possible preparation for the evaluation. The issues they address often relate to social cohesion. In a European context, Searchlighter has a good awareness of the EU’s Cohesion Policy as a means to meeting Europe 2020 targets, and the debates on this topic have inspired some of our model development. The subject areas they prioritise often affect environments that foster innovation in its broadest sense, allowing our work in conjunction with project Partners to make innovation an engine of positive change. The challenges they seek relate to this broad definition, one that includes the social and cultural as well as the economic and entrepreneurial.
Their recent project work includes:
(1) Searchlighter led the M&E Work Package in RENOVA, an LdV Transfer of Innovation project to enhance mobility and employability for nursing staff by enhancing their health management skills. RENOVA was developing their professional skills according to labour market needs set out in ‘New Skills for New Jobs‘.
(2) Searchlighter is now leading the Monitoring and Evaluation process as a Partner in a DAPHNE project, IOR. This seeks to address behavioural change in young people in the 10–17 years age group who may be perpetrators or victims of emotional violence through social media environments.
(3) Searchlighter has been chosen as the UK Partner in a project funded by the Human Resources Development Operational Programme in Bulgaria to support its Government in learning good practice and effective policy concerning labour-market access for disadvantaged groups.
(4) Searchlighter is also a Partner in VETAAL, a project to address vocational skills in furniture-making that can develop Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) environments by developing a harmonised European curriculum, based on the principles of ECVET, in the design and manufacture of Smart Support Furniture for AAL.
Robin Beecroft set up Searchlighter towards the end of 2008 with a key mission to bring outcomes that stimulate positive change within a project’s sphere of influence. Robin’s current goal is to continue Searchlighter's development so it is able to effect innovation for sustainable social, cultural or economic change.
Robin established Searchlighter's approach in evaluating project outcomes as they relate to enhancing innovation, engagement, social cohesion and stakeholder inclusion. His focus is on indicators that may include degrees of behavioural change, efficiency in information management, effectiveness of transnational cooperation, impact on policy development, adherence to research ethics, and penetration through the dissemination process.
To learn more about their background and approach to monitoring and evaluation, it is possible to consult: www.searchlighter.org, cordis.europa.eu/partners/web/guest/home or www.linkedin.com/in/robinbeecroft