Evaluation of the Connect project

What are we evaluating?

The impact of the overall programme of work undertaken through the Connect project will be evaluated. The overall programme may result in changes in partnership working when interacting with people with mental health issues, beliefs and perceptions of mental health, and increased understanding and use of evidence in police work.

An overall theory of change will be developed for the programmes, based on the individual workstreams embedded within the programme. A theory of change explores how and why the activities or interventions related to a programme are expected to lead to identified, desired outcomes being achieved; it complements a logic model. Logic models graphically illustrate program components, and helps stakeholders clearly identify outcomes, inputs and activities.

We will conduct an online survey of officers of all ranks and roles within North Yorkshire Police at an early stage in the project (baseline) and again towards the end of the project (follow-up). The survey will aim to identify the impact of the Connect programme on officers’ awareness of, and attitudes toward, mental illness and ways of working with individuals experiencing mental ill health; partnership working and referral pathways between the police, mental health services and other statutory and third sector organisations; and their understanding of evidence-based policing and use of research.

Why is this important?

Although some workstreams will be evaluating the impact or effectiveness of their own activities, the evaluation of the Connect project as a whole aims to capture the combined impact of system change, or ways of working/thinking, across the police population. In this case, we will examine whether officers in the North Yorkshire Police force become more aware of issues around mental health and policing simply through the force taking part in the Connect project. We would also look at the conditions and factors that affect this change. The overall survey evaluation may help to inform whether a similar programme of work in police forces in other areas may be useful.

Who is working on this?
What is the timeline for this evaluation?

Baseline data will be collected in the Spring, with the follow-up survey taking place in December 2016/January 2017. We aim to complete the evaluation of the project by March 2017.

How will the findings be made available?

Available here are the CONNECT logic model and CONNECT Theory of Change. Findings will be added to this page and further information will be:

  • Published in a summary report (link will be made available here)
  • Presented at Partners meetings (presentation will be made available here)
  • Published in full in an academic paper (link will be made available here)
More information

For more information about the evaluation please contact Nicola Moran, Department of Social Policy and Social Work, University of York.