Recent evaluations

I have conducted many process, outcome, formative and summative evaluations. My focus is on providing useful learning to help agencies and professionals improve service design, delivery and practice. Recent evaluations include:

Our Social Networks

Over 2018-21, I conducted a process and outcome evaluation of Mencap Cymru’s innovative project – Our Social Networks (OSN). OSN collected 40 oral histories, mostly from adults with learning disabilities. These illustrated the critial importance of friendships and relationships, as well as the enormous challenges people face in being allowed the opportunities to meet people and exercise this basic human right and get the necessary education and support. Read a summary here; or the full report here.

From the very start of the project Berni sought to prioritise relationships with the wider team in order to build trust and a genuine understanding of project delivery”

Sian Davies, Head of Strategic Programmes  / Pennaeth Rhaglenni Strategol, Mencap Cymru

Cumbria Early Intervention Project

Over 2018-20, I conducted a formative, process and outcomes evaluation of this multi-agency, multi-programme, early intervention programme for children who have severe learning disabilities and behaviour that challenges. It built on a ‘positive behavioural support model‘, developed by the Challenging Behaviour Foundation, Kent University Tizard Centre, Northumbria University and others. The programme itself was a close and successful collaboration between the NHS, family carers, learning disability charities, universities and others. Read a summary here and full evaluation report here.

Many thanks Berni – you have made a great contribution to the work and we hope to be able to work with you again in the future”

Viv Cooper OBE, Chief Executive, The Challenging Behaviour Foundation

The links between Childhood Sexual Abuse and substance misuse

Over 2019-20 I evaluated a service development programme, based on the proven links between being sexually abused as a child (CSA) and developing mental health difficulties and /or issues around drugs and/or alcohol later in life. Designed by the Centre of Expertise on CSA, based at Barnardos, it encouraged practitioners to routinely enquire about CSA, as disclosing can be key to recovery. Unfortunately, professionals usually wait for service users to volunteer this information. Read a summary here; and the full report.

Evaluation of a stalking service

In 2019 I evaluated an innovative service supporting people who are stalked. Few services like this exist in the UK, despite stalking’s prevalence (it can affect anyone), its devastating impact on mental and physical health, the high risk of death, and low prosecution rates.

“The team all felt that the evaluator quickly understood the complexities of the service and the unique issues this client group presented.”

Changing Pathways

Evaluation of Contact’s Welfare Rights Advice

Over 2016-18 I evaluated Contact’s specialist welfare rights advice service for families with disabled children. The evaluation examined processes, outcomes for families and the ease of using Contact’s telephone- and web-based service. I also advised the service how to simplify but get more from their data collection. Read the executive summary or my full report

Evaluation of the LEAP early years service

Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP), is a multi-agency, multi-faceted early intervention programme, funded by Big Lottery, aiming to improve outcomes for the poorest children in Lambeth. The formative evaluation examined processes and outcomes across key constituent programmes, e.g. the parent involvement; diet and exercise advice for pregnant mothers; mental health support for parents; and building community capacity. 

Examples of some previous evaluations

  • Trial of CAMHSWEB, an online tool, to support mental health interventions with children and young people.
  • Our Rights Our Voice, a Department of Health funded project to improve awareness among disabled children and young people of their rights when using NHS services.
  • The participation of disabled young people in the VIPER project
  • A MIND project, which trained young people to provide peer-to-peer support to other children and young people around mental health.
  • A london  based NHS project working with families to tackle childhood obesity.
  • An NHS project to promote breast feeding, especially exploring fathers’ role and experiences in supporting breast feeding.
  • Local pilot sites for an innovative, community-based, eye healthcare treatment approach, for the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the RNIB.
  • REAL roll-out of an evidence-based pioneering programme to enhance families’ understanding and involvement in promoting their young children’s literacy .
  • A local history inter-generational project funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, focusing on immigration, personal narratives, international cuisine and food markets in East London.
  • Prince’s Trust projects aiming to increase the engagement of young Muslims in the Trust.