Menopause: Tackling the Taboo

Evaluation Brief & Request for Expressions of Interest

Introduction

WomenCentre is developing and delivering Menopause:Tackling the Taboo between February 2020 and January 2023, with local women and their families, with funding and support from Huddersfield Central Place Partnership ward councillors; (comprising of Almondbury, Dalton and Newsome Wards).

This two-year Huddersfield Central pilot aims to:

  • Better understand and raise awareness of the menopause and its impact on women, their families and lives.
  • Put in place a range of support to help women (and their families) better manage their experiences/symptoms of menopause.
  • Create opportunities for local women to shape the design, delivery and evaluation of a local response to support for women going through the menopause and their families.
  • Enable opportunities to share learning across Kirklees and beyond.

We are seeking to engage a suitably qualified and experienced Independent Evaluator to evaluate the impact and success of the Project over this second year, and to identify key learning that can be shared locally, regionally and nationally.

Overview of Menopause: Tackling the Taboo

The Menopause is experienced by all women, causing significant impact on their lives and their mental health and that of their families.  However, it is rarely discussed publicly, and very little information and support is available.  In Almondbury, Dalton and Newsome, there are around 7,000 women aged 45-65, many of whom will be experiencing menopausal mental health difficulties. Covid-19 and lockdown has further exacerbated negative impacts on many women’s mental health and wellbeing.

This community led Project is coordinated by a Project Worker (8 hours a week, employed by WomenCentre) to:

Develop and design the service in partnership with local people and communities

Deliver information and support – to prevent escalation of mental health issues, develop better coping strategies and minimise the impact on women and their families, through for example:

    • Menopause Cafes (virtual or face to face) – informal drop-in safe spaces where women and their families can find out more about the menopause.
    • Peer support groups – where women share their experiences and coping strategies.
    • Volunteer recruitment – key to expansion and sustainability of the project.

 Community events – raising awareness about the menopause and its impact in creative and engaging ways, e.g. comedy, cabaret or drama.

Campaigning – raising awareness about menopause, its impact and support available both online, in communities and workplaces.

 Targets

The main beneficiaries are women (of any age) going through the menopause and their families. Of the 7,000 women living in Almondbury, Newsome and Dalton, who are aged between 45-64 (Kirklees Observatory) we anticipate that by the end of the two years:

  • at least 50% of these women (3,500) and
  • 50% or their partners and families (1,750) would be aware of this project.

The pilot aims to reach women from all cultural and socio-economic backgrounds, localities and all communities with targeted information and appropriate services, e.g. women with disabilities, carers, BAME women, LGBT women and those living in poverty.

Anticipated Outcomes

This pilot aims to help improve the wellbeing and mental health of women going through the

menopause by improving knowledge, awareness and understanding about the menopause, symptoms and how to manage these.  Anticipated outcomes, for women experiencing menopause and their families include:

  • Better understanding of the menopause, symptoms and the impact across all members of the community (women, families, communities, professionals/services and employers).
  • Increased ability to self-manage, or support others, to manage the menopause and its impact.
  • Improved mental health and wellbeing for women and their families.
  • Improved confidence and self-esteem for women experiencing menopause.
  • Reduced anxiety and feelings of isolation for women experiencing menopause.
  • The development of knowledge about the menopause and where to get support for women and their families from all communities.

The Project is overseen by a Steering Group that meets 4-6 weekly, comprising a diverse group of local women (many of whom are experiencing peri-menopausal or menopausal symptoms) from Almondbury, Dalton and Newsome, the Project Worker, Lead Councillor, Council Business Support Officer and WomenCentre Senior Manager and.  This Group ensure the Project is on track, supports the Project worker with any difficulties, issues and barriers and will help to oversee the evaluation.

Evaluator Person/Team Specification

We are seeking expressions of interest from an evaluator/evaluation team with the following experience:

  • Undertaking evaluations with women and diverse communities e.g. different cultural backgrounds, women with disabilities, carers, LGBT women and those living in poverty; using appropriate approaches and tools. We expect that women being interviewed as part of the evaluation or participating in evaluation focus groups should be given the choice of having a female evaluator.
  • Using social media, preferably including this as part of the evaluation methodology.
  • Using flexible and creative approaches to evaluation.
  • Drawing learning, conclusions and recommendations from quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Producing timely, well-written and concise evaluation reports including an overview of the Project, evaluation methodology, quantitative data and analysis, qualitative data and analysis, key learning and conclusions/recommendations for future projects.
  • Presenting outputs (i.e. information/data/reports) in meaningful ways to non-specialist audiences. This may include the creation of infographics.

 

Learning and Evaluation Requirements

The evaluation will need to consider the following questions:

  • What activities and outputs did the Project deliver?
  • To what extent have local people and communities been involved in shaping the development and design of Project activities?
  • How many women and their wider families and communities accessed Project activities?
  • How successfully did the Project reach women from different cultural, socio-economic and other diverse communities in the three Wards?
  • What impact has the Project had? Is anyone better off as a result of the Project?
  • To what extent has the Project achieved its stated aims, outcomes and targets?
  • In addressing the above questions the evaluator will consider:
  • What the key success factors are (what made a difference, how and why)?
  • What didn’t work as planned (what barriers/gaps are there, how can we overcome or reduce these)?
  • Have there been any unexpected outcomes (positive and/or negative)? What are they?
  • What learning, conclusions and recommendations can be drawn from the evaluation findings to be shared locally, regionally and nationally?

 

Reporting

We require two reports:

  • A mid-way interim report highlighting impact and learning to date, to be produced by 31st August 2022.
  • A final report covering all the learning requirements highlighted above, to be produced by 31st December 2022.

 

Budget and Timescales

The total budget for the evaluation is £3,000, this includes all expenses and VAT (if applicable).  We are inviting potential evaluators to express interest in this evaluation by setting out how they would undertake the evaluation/methodology, a timeline for the evaluation and associated costs, in line with the requirements above, taking account of the resources available below, and the budget.

 

Resources Available to Support the Evaluator

The appointed Evaluator will be able to draw upon relevant project information including:

  • Project overview documentation.
  • Project Worker progress reports (produced for Steering Group meetings) – including activities, numbers benefitting and an overview of any impact/outcomes information.
  • Minutes of Project Steering Group meetings.
  • Reports about any specific activities with numbers benefiting and any feedback obtained.
  • Demographic data if collected/available.
  • Social media posts and review of our Facebook page, numbers and any feedback.
  • Specific monitoring tools that may be used – e.g. Happiness Survey.

 

We will support the evaluator by facilitating 1:1 interviews and/or focus groups with the steering group, women accessing the project and other stakeholders as necessary/agreed.

 

Evaluation Management

The evaluation will be overseen by the Project’s Steering Group.  Day to day management of the evaluation will be undertaken by WomenCentre’s Kirklees Operational Manager on behalf of the Project Steering Group.

Expressions of Interest

Expressions of interest must be sent by email to Karen Arnold, Kirklees Operational Manager: Karen.arnold@womencentre.org.uk, by 12 noon on Friday 18th February 2022.

Responses should not exceed 4 x A4 pages in length (excluding CVs).

Your proposal must outline:

How you would deliver this evaluation including methodology. This should demonstrate your understanding of the brief, and provide a clear rationale for your approach.

  • An outline evaluation plan with timeline.
  • A budget outlining day rates and other costs, including any travel or accommodation costs. Total costs must not exceed £3,000.
  • Evidence of your relevant skills and experience, together with CVs and/or company/organisation profile (which can be provided as an appendix).
  • Contacts for two referees who have been previous clients for similar evaluation work.

If you would like to discuss the brief and our expectations prior to submission please contact Karen Arnold by email: Karen.arnold@womencentre.org.uk

We expect to review expressions of interest and shortlist in the week commencing 21st February 2022.  We will be in touch with the outcome of our review or if necessary, to request an interview by Friday 25th February 2022.