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Getting your programme assessed

EIF conducts programme assessments as part of our ‘What works’ reviews of evidence related to early intervention in specific issues, age groups or other populations.

For information about assessment reviews that are ongoing or upcoming, see: Work in progress

From time to time, we invite providers to submit programmes for assessment, via an open call. We do not conduct assessments on a one-off or on-request basis, outside of these review periods or open calls.

The programme assessment process

The typical EIF assessment review consists of the following steps.

  1. Expression of interest: EIF issues a call for expressions of interest for programmes that fit within the scope of the review and wish to be considered for assessment. These opportunities are notified via our website, Twitter and newsletter. Currently, there is no other way to submit your programme for assessment: we do not conduct assessments on request or maintain a waiting list.
  2. Providers submit information: Once the call for expressions of interest has closed, EIF provides an in-depth questionnaire for programme providers to fill out and return. This provides EIF with a wealth of information about the programme itself, and the key evaluations and studies that the provider is aware of.
  3. Identifying relevant evidence: In addition to the evaluations and studies that are submitted by the provider, EIF conducts an additional web-based search to identify other potentially relevant evaluations and studies.
  4. Initial assessment: Using this material, EIF conducts an initial assessment against 34 separate criteria relating to the quality and rigour of the evaluations that provide a programme’s best evidence. For more detail on the standards of evidence, see: EIF evidence standards
  5. Expert review: Small groups of subject-matter experts (academics and others from outside EIF) and EIF staff meet to review the detail of each assessment in fine detail and agree a provisional evidence rating. The makeup of the panel changes with each review to ensure the right mix of expertise.
  6. Confirming the rating: Provisional evidence and cost ratings are shared with providers, who may request a reassessment if they consider that the criteria have not been properly applied. Following this stage, a final moderation meeting is held with all members of the sub-panel meetings to ensure consistency of rating and ratify provisional ratings as final.

Programmes that are assessed and found to have at least preliminary evidence of achieving positive outcomes for children will be added to the Guidebook, as and when individual programme reports are completed.

Published June 2024