eLib Phase III
Format for 2nd Year Project Annual Reporting (August 1999)
As innovative projects from which others are expecting to learn, it is important that eLib projects provide information and knowledge that will be speedily accessible to the wider community. This annual reporting structure is one way of ensuring that the lessons emerging from monitoring and evaluating the progress and success of the project are recorded, systematised and disseminated.
The framework elaborated below is intended to provide eLib in its overall management role with a consistent and coherent set of data from all projects about activities and progress, the process of implementation, reflections on what has been learned and revised understandings and expectations about the project innovation. Regular reporting of this kind is also useful for project self-evaluation and reflexivity among the partners about what is being learned.
The framework takes the form of a set of leading questions that are relatively unstructured. In the first year, we sought to elicit 'soft' data from projects, informed by your formative evaluation and experiences of implementation. In this second and subsequent years, reporting should include more systematic feedback from trials or demonstrators, evidence of outcomes and effects, and clearer plans for post-project exploitation .
The annual reporting structure proposed here is intended to dovetail with management agreements made with eLib about regular reporting. In preparing an annual report, we would ask you to report for the period subsequent to that covered by last year’s report and up to the last major milestone as specified in your own project plan.
Projects are requested to follow the format below when preparing their annual report. We would also ask you to append any relevant documentation (project management plans/reports, evaluation plans/reports, business plans, publicity materials etc.) when forwarding your report.
1. Activities and Progress
This section is concerned with activities and progress in relation to your proposal and contract with eLib. It should identify what has been achieved since the start of the project/since the last report.
Questions to address:
- What have been the major activities undertaken by the project?
- What have been the effects of any changes you may have made to the project since your project proposal was accepted?
- What have been your main objectives or targets during the period and how far have you been able to meet them?
- What outputs (if any yet) have you produced from your activities (such as prototypes, models, demonstrator services, actual services, events, reports etc.)? Please quantify dimensions where possible.
2. Learning from the process of implementation
This section of the report is concerned with differences between what was planned and what actually occurred, and the reasons for any such changes to plan. Please tell us about any difficulties you have encountered as well as unexpected opportunities that may have opened up. Projects are encouraged to report on all forms of change including 'learning from failure'.
Check list of questions:
- Have you encountered any difficulties in starting up/ managing the project and carrying out your activities (e.g. staffing problems, technical delays, increased costs, involving relevant users)?
- What changes have you made to your plan (aims, objectives, staffing, activities, etc.) in the light of your experiences?
- What are the reasons for these changes? Do you now understand the task of managing such a project differently?
- Has your project thrown up any unanticipated outcomes or unexpected opportunities and how have you taken account of these?
- What have you learned from your experiences of innovation and development? Do you now have a different understanding of what you are trying to achieve, or the nature of the innovation?
This section is concerned with the activities you may be undertaking in collaboration with other programme actors.
Questions to address:
- Are there further things which could be done by the programme office which would help your project in its work?
- (for ‘hybrid’ projects) Beyond exchange and dissemination activities, do you feel there is additional scope for co-working between projects?
4. Interim evaluation results
Projects will be collecting systematic, structured feedback at key stages in the project lifecycle, as outlined in the Guidelines for eLib Project Evaluation and in line with your own project evaluation plan. These data are likely to be both formative (informing ongoing development and decision-making in the project) as well as summative (providing evidence of effects and longer term impacts).
Please report on the findings which are emerging from your evaluation activities, commenting in particular on any general outcomes, effects and impacts. (Please also note and explain here any difficulties or delays you have experienced in carrying out your evaluation activities.)
In keeping with the eLib programme's overall evaluation preoccupations, you might usefully comment on the project outcomes and effects in relation to the following:
- cultural change
- future scenarios
- contribution to overall project goals
Your annual report should focus where ever possible on the results of trials and pilots and address all relevant issues including
- scholarly, and
- learning and teaching
‘Clump’ projects should particularly indicate how they see their project against the broader background of movement towards a UK national catalogue.
‘Hybrid’ projects should particularly report on their progress or otherwise in securing broader ownership and involvement by host institutions.
Actual interim evaluation reports should be appended.
5. Future development
In this section you should set out any ideas you might have about future developments. It would be helpful to identify any changes in planned direction as well as any changes in proposed management and staffing arrangements.
Questions to be addressed:
- What are the main objectives for the next reporting period?
- What, if any, changes in overall direction are proposed?
- How do you now envisage the future scenario for the product or services you are developing, beyond the project timeframe?
Projects should also present here, as appropriate;
- Post-project plans of the participating institutions, where possible expressed in terms of business plans/ specifications of follow-on projects or activities.
- Interim conclusions about the results and implications of the project.
Generally, projects should be already considering their exit strategies. You should comment here on how any emergent business plans are related to experience/evaluation evidence already gained in your project. If it seems to you that you are not likely to continue the project beyond the funding period please indicate what will be gained and what scope there may be for future action.
If you have any queries about the Annual Reporting process or format please feel free to contact John Kelleher at
The Tavistock Institute
Evaluation Development and Review Unit
30 Tabernacle Street
London EC2A 4DD
phone: 0171 417 0407
fax: 0171 417 0567