Commissioning strategic experts to help us develop a Theory of Change for Our Future Focus
The Future Generations Commissioner of Wales is seeking proposals from service providers to assist with the delivery of a Theory of Change
The remit of the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales is wide – it encompasses all areas that could impact the economic, environmental, social and cultural well-being of Wales now and for future generations. The resources of the office are, however, limited, and we need to focus our work where we can drive the biggest change across all dimensions of well-being and all seven of the well-being goals as set out in the Well-being of Future Generations Act.
The previous Commissioner, Sophie Howe, undertook an extensive exercise at the start of her term of office, to prioritise her work. This resulted in six policy priorities – Land Use Planning, Transport, Housing, Adverse Childhood Experiences, Better Ways to Keep People Well (health system change), and Skills for the Future.
We are in a different place than we were in 2016. We have more experience and materials to draw on in terms of key issues for future generations; and evidence about where we can we add value, where we should focus our interventions and how we can best drive change.
Building on this knowledge, the new Commissioner, Derek Walker, has embarked upon a similar involvement exercise to set his priorities for his seven-year term. We are calling this Our Future Focus. This exercise will run for around six months, and we have committed to publishing our plans in October. We will also look long-term, to set our work plan within a vision that goes beyond the next seven years. The plan will contain a clear set of performance indicators and success measures and will be transparent about why we have made our choices and what role we will seek to play in meeting the outcomes we want to achieve.
The outputs from this exercise will also be closely integrated with and build on our existing and current work, much of which is a statutory requirement and will need to continue in some form. We have established an interim workplan for 2023, 6 months in duration (our ‘Route Map’) and the outputs from Our Future Focus will need to establish which parts of this work will continue, which parts will need to stop or change in focus, and what will be new work. Examples of current work that we are committed to carrying out are our ongoing support for public bodies, monitoring and assessing progress against the Well-being of Future Generations Act, delivering the third cohort of our Future Leaders Academy, and our international work.
We require an external organisation to work with our team to support the latter stages of the Our Future Focus where we are analysing the data (primary and secondary) and developing a strategy (using theory of change methodology) for our work going forward (2023-2030).
This commissioned work will give clarity on which issues, behaviours and policy areas we could most usefully focus on (the ‘what’) as well as how we will work with others (public bodies and other stakeholders), to facilitate change (the ’how’). For example, what type of interventions would work best and where is our added value on a particular issue. We also want to always challenge ourselves to walk the talk and be exemplar in applying the Act ourselves to our behaviours and actions.
Most of our stakeholder involvement and desk-based analysis will be complete by the end of July, and we’d require the successful provider to be available from August through into early September to undertake the main task of developing the most impactful actions our office can take within a Theory of Change model and within the scope of our duties and powers.
However, we would like to begin working with the provider during July (or possibly earlier in June), to ensure that the way that we are analysing our data will provide the outputs needed to develop the Theory of Change and we can provide some information/ training on the Commissioner’s Powers and Duties. There may also be some benefit in holding an early workshop with staff (20th July team meeting) to explore the theory of change model and gather thoughts and ideas from the team that may feed into the process.
A further two-day team away day is planned for 12-13 September at which we’d welcome the provider attending to present the initial recommendations of their work and to facilitate a workshop with staff to contribute to and refine the finished product.
With a final product ready for 29th September.
|Sell to Wales go live||Tuesday, 6th June|
|Application closing||Tuesday, 20th June|
|Appointment of successful applicant||Tuesday, 27th June|
|Start of contract||Monday, 3rd July|
|A session with our Senior Leadership Team||Tuesday, 18th July|
|End of contract||Friday, 23rd September|
Further information about Our Future Focus
As part of Our Future Focus, we have already analysed a wide range of secondary data to understand future trends and challenges facing future generations and will be continuing to evaluate secondary data shared with us by our stakeholders (May – June), in addition to other data sources including, for example, information resulting from public services boards’ well-being assessments.
We have carried out a series of foresight exercises with staff and with external stakeholders and are gathering primary data via a variety of methods including an online survey, and a broad range of meetings and events with stakeholders.
We will be analysing this information as a team over the next few months and aim to extrapolate some high level themes and hypotheses as to what future generations need public bodies and others to do; considering current barriers, what are the actions and steps public bodies and others need to take to get there; and where our office can best support public bodies and others in this endeavour. Below are some examples of the things we have been hearing through involvement, although it must be noted that this is from initial (and not completed) discussion.1
What future generations need public bodies (and others) to do to improve well-being:
- Future generations need the public and private sector to drive a well-being economy.
- Communities should be more involved into decision-making and are co-designing services and shaping Wales alongside public bodies.
- Wales is seen as a global leader in well-being.
- Future generations need holistic, integrated and sustainable public services.
The changes needed to get us there might include:
- The public sector needs to have a stronger and clearer partnership landscape to allow them to work more effectively with other sectors on all dimensions of well-being.
- Perceptions need to shift so that efforts to drive well-being for future generations are seen as essential rather than ‘nice to do if there is time or money left’.
- Public bodies need to adopt a culture of high innovation and ambition.
Actions our office might need to take to support public bodies might include:
- Working out with public bodies what a well-being local economy could look like and a pathway to get there.
- Helping to reduce the complexity and taking some of the burden off public bodies and partnership structures.
- Shifting our relationship from flagging progress on the Act to leading the way towards sustainability.
- Using the information from our desk research, foresight exercises and involvement exercise, help us to develop a long-term vision of what we would like to achieve as an office in a 25-30 year timeframe. This would include working with our data analysis sub-group and incorporating a methodology /criteria for prioritising topics and issues coming out of the data.
- Using the information from our desk research, foresight and involvement exercise, help us to develop achievable outcomes and Key Performance Indicators for the next 7 years.
- Using the information from our desk research and involvement exercise, help us to build a Theory of Change to take us from the present to 2030 (end of Commissioner’s term).
- Help us identify the most impactful actions that we can take as an office that would have the effect the biggest change across Wales and the world – we would like this to include a session to test the Theory of Change with members of our leadership team, as well as several conversations/workshops with the whole team with the final one during our two-day away day we are planning for September.
- Ensure the views and expertise of the whole team are taken into account in this exercise – through individual conversations and group sessions.
- Develop the final product – a vision, Theory of Change and Key Performance Indicators – by 29th September 2023.
- A long-term 25–30-year vision of what we would like to achieve as an office.
- Strategy based on Theory of change that will underpin our work programme for the next 7 years, based on a longer-term vision (see above), and including detail on the types of inputs, linked to achievable outcomes, and a set of suggested KPIs for us to measure progress against. This could possibly be based on a mission-based strategy model, with individual theories of change feeding into individual goals, but we are open to input to shape our approach to how the strategy will take shape.
- A series of discussion meetings with the Senior Leadership Team (18th July) for an initial steer and 5 September for initial conclusions) and with the whole team (20 July info session, then 12-13 September, Machynlleth for a detailed whole team discussion on the recommendations).
We are looking for proposals of up to £20,000 (including VAT).
We might need to extend the scope of this tender following discussion and agreement with the successful applicant if a need is identified during the execution of the project and is considered necessary to completion Our Future Focus project.
Your proposal should include:
- A detailed methodology of how you would use our evidence and involvement to design a Theory of Change.
- A description of how you would use our evidence and foresight exercises, and any additional evidence you have access to that you feel is relevant, and turn it into potential actions and outcomes for our office, focussing in particular on how you would embed the five Ways of Working into your approach, and how you would ensure that impact across the seven well-being goals is maximised.
- A summary of any evidence or research you may hold that you think is relevant to this exercise and how this could be incorporated into the project.
- Suggestions on what a possible workshop with the team might look like.
- Information on how you plan to present your findings to us in an accessible and easy to use way.
- Information on any plans for involvement and collaboration that you think may help you with this task, as well as all five ways of working set out in the Act (long-term, prevention, integration, collaboration and involvement).
- Your knowledge and understanding of sustainability and the Welsh context. For example, the partnership landscape, the Well-being of Future Generations Act, and devolution.
- Your knowledge and understanding of the policy and delivery landscape in Wales.
- A breakdown of costs and anticipated time required for this work.
- A full budget breakdown with daily rates included and whether VAT applies
Your proposal should set out your:
- Experience of analysing large amounts of information to form broad conclusions.
- Experience of designing plans and/or policies.
- Experience developing Theory of Change.
- Individuals who will work on this project.
Our scoring will be done based on three main elements. Each of these will comprise one third of the total score. The three elements are:
- Cost – a detailed budget should be included in the proposal and will be scored accordingly.
- Expertise and experience – approach to the tasks outlined above, including a timeframe for their delivery. Evidence of qualifications, expertise, experience incorporating foresight exercises or previous successful work of a similar nature should be included to assist our decision-making.
- Sustainability – to help us secure best value for money together with the widest benefits to the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales, we would also like you to answer as best as you can the questions in the Table below.
Future Generations Commissioner for Wales Sustainability Table:
|Do you follow ethical employment and sustainable practices in your operation and in your supply chains?|
|Do you hold sustainable organisational certifications?|
|Is your organisation a zero-carbon organisation and how are you limiting your emissions in your travel, energy, pensions and procurement?|
|Is your organisation paper free and zero wate?|
|Are your products or materials sourced locally and sustainably, reused or recycled?|
|Are your materials recognised conflict-free by independent certification schemes such as electronicswatch.com and Greenpeace Guide to Electronics?|
|Do you ensure that your organisation follows fair and ethical practices including anti-slavery and human traffic practices, fair trade, marine stewardship and forestry stewardship, B-Corp or Green Dragon accreditation?|
|Is your organisation taking any action to reduce poverty?|
|Are you a Living Wage Employer?|
|What steps have you taken, or are you going to take to ensure you offer fair work? Fair work is defined as ‘where workers “are fairly rewarded, heard and represented, secure and able to progress in a healthy, inclusive environment where rights are respected.”|
|Do you support and undertake fair and local procurement?|
|Do you promote inclusive growth?|
|Is your organisation or directors related to any political parties, or any other interests which should be disclosed as causing a potential (perceived or real) negative reputational or bias risk to the Commissioner?|
If you would like to ask questions or discuss this tender, please get in touch with Petranka Malcheva at email@example.com
Before submitting a proposal, you may wish to familiarise yourself with:
- The requirements of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
- The Commissioner’s statutory ‘Future Generations Report’ published in May 2020. In particular, ‘The vision’ in Chapter 1.
- Our Future Focus page on our website.
- Previous activities undertake by the team insert weblink to Our Work