Business Link East Evaluation


EEDA commissioning Oakleigh Consulting to evaluate the delivery of the regional Business Link service during 2007/08. The purpose of the evaluation was fourfold:

  • To provide the required evidence for the forthcoming decision as to extension or otherwise of the contract beyond 2010
  • To equip EEDA Board with evidence of BLE performance in preparation for future scrutiny by BERR
  • To equip EEDA with stronger evidence of BLE impacts for regional and national stakeholder and government scrutiny
  • To improve EEDA's policy and investment decision-making through a robust understanding of the impact of the BLE suite of activities

We were asked to provide:

  • an assessment of the project‚ gross and net outputs, and the coefficients for the factors of additionality (deadweight, leakage, displacement, substitution and multiplier effects)
  • an analysis of how these outputs are contributing to relevant outcomes and impacts (higher-level outcomes)
  • a consideration of whether and how the project has achieved their initial objectives and whether they represent good value for money
  • an assessment of the contribution of the interventions in relation to EEDA's Strategic Added Value
  • an assessment of how the project is contributing to wider objectives‚ in particular those relating to the regional economic strategy‚ and the SNR outcome measures
  • an assessment of the continued need for the intervention
  • an assessment of how the interventions should be improved to increase effectiveness, drawing on lessons learned and good practice Recommendations for future direction of the service provision


  • explored the rationale for intervention and prepared a "logic chain" describing how BLE was designed to operate (from inputs to activities, to outputs, to outcomes, to impact).
  • reviewed monitoring data from the business link performance management framework and RDA tasking framework
  • surveyed regional businesses to establish whether BLE added value (quantifying the factors of "additionality" listed above)
  • calculated a range of measures of value for money (economy, efficiency, cost effectiveness)
  • consulted with partners particular on the relationship between EEDA and BLE (the strategic value added by the agency)
  • prepared recommendations tied to the evidence from the evaluation

This led to:

  • impact evaluation framework compliant analysis
  • clarity over the rationale and the implications this has for delivery models
  • suggestions for enhancing the future evidence base by adapting the regional business support information system
  • recommendations for improving value for money by a factor of 35%

business-support impact-evaluation-framework evaluation