Gaining valuable insight into a grant program

The Client: NSW Government agency

The Situation

Our client is a NSW Government agency responsible for administering clean energy programs. They had just conducted an application round for one of their $20 million grant programs. With a potential second round of applications opening imminently, our client was seeking to optimise the application and assessment process for this program. They also wanted to understand what lessons learned could be applied across other grants which they manage.

The Challenge 

Through delays outside of our client’s control, the first application round was conducted significantly behind schedule. This meant that there was a very short turn around to conduct the second grant round and ensure the projects could deliver on the program outcomes before the end of the program. This resulted in the evaluation needing to be completed in less than eight weeks.

The Project

We developed an efficient but collaborative methodology which sought to maximise available resources. This was enabled through our depth of program evaluation experience in both process evaluations and in the grant administration context.

Four Key Evaluation Questions (KEQs) were developed for the evaluation:

  • KEQ1: To what extent has program communication and promotion effectively built awareness of the program and supported the application process?
  • KEQ2: To what extent is the application process expected to support the achievement of program priority objectives?
  • KEQ3: To what extent was the application process aligned with the capacity and capability of regional stakeholders? [the targeted stakeholders for this grant program]
  • KEQ4: What lessons learned from the application process could be used to enhance potential future rounds of the program and/or other grant program’s application processes?

The evaluation was informed by a desktop review of key grant application materials as well as consultation with stakeholders internal and external to the agency.

The Result

The client received an accessible and timely report which is expected to enhance the process for managing grant applications. We identified 15 recommendations including those specific to this grant program, as well as those that can be applied more broadly to grant programs administered by our client.

We received a Net Promoter Score of 9 and 10 respectively from our key client contacts, with feedback that they appreciated our reliability, timeliness, and the way in which we kept them informed.

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