Evaluation of the Big Green Challenge Plus

Start date:
July 2009
December 2010

Big Green Challenge Plus was a fund run by the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA). BGC+ followed NESTA’s original Big Green Challenge prize, which supported community-based carbon reduction schemes through an innovative, competition-based approach (Brook Lyndhurst also carried out the evaluation for the Big Green Challenge).

Through BGC+, the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) made small grants of up to £20,000 available to 17 of the original applicants to the Big Green Challenge. The aim, as with the original fund, was to support innovative community-based initiatives in reducing the carbon emissions within their target communities.

The goal of the evaluation was to explore the approaches to community engagement employed by the projects to identify what works and what might be improved in future projects, focusing in particular on models which can be replicated elsewhere or which can be scaled up to reach larger audiences.

The methodology employed to evaluate BGC+ reflected the size of the grants awarded through the fund and the need to limit the burden placed upon projects, while identifying key lessons for future funds. It comprised:

  • An initial review of applications and other project documents;
  • A round of site visits, allowing us to familiarise ourselves with the work of projects on the ground;
  • Review of evaluation materials submitted by projects over the course of the fund;
  • An online questionnaire to be completed by projects;
  • Interviews with NESTA's partners in administering the fund - UnLtd and CRed; and
  • A second round of site visits at the end of the fund.

A final report was written at the end of the fund in late 2010.

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