Strategic Insights and Education for Business Growth
Independent UK consulting and training for business, education and professional development
Strategy & Evaluation

Belanda Consulting undertakes strategic research, evaluation & analysis work to support robust design & planning of innovation & business development, identifying & validating outcomes and undertaking impact assessment.

We work with national agencies and organisations to research and/or evaluate new initiatives, programmes or projects across both public and private sector. Our approaches are formative, participative and developmental. Quantitiative data underpins qualitative thematic evidence offering clients highly insightful and compelling reports for their funders and stakeholders.

Stakeholder consultation across a project or programme's network of internal functions and external partners is a critically important element of change management, to understand issues and needs from different perspectives and to engage people with the kind of cultural shifts required for sustainable new practices.

Recent work includes:

  • Facilitating group-based participative business process reviews

  • Setting up evaluation frameworks & systems for innovation and quality assurance

  • Supporting evaluation of organisational approaches for developing digital literacies

  • Analysis and materials for improving key transitions in student progression

  • External evaluation of engagement strategies for business-university interaction

  • Reviewing training needs for business growth

  • Analysing market and sales patterns for business transformation

  • Critical friend/ programme support for evaluation strategies & methodology

Working in educational, professional and business development 'on the ground' for many years, we bring both academic credibility and operational pragmatism to evaluation and analysis. We offer expertise in leading, managing and evaluating large-scale, cross-institutional and multi-disciplinary projects and have published in the fields of education, e-learning and business.

Consequently, as individuals, our interpersonal, facilitation and communication skills are well developed and effective. We are able to translate findings from innovation into new policies and practices, with particular strengths in gaining stakeholder commitment and participation.

Clients remark on the insightful and actionable findings, evidence and lessons learned, that aid ongoing development, dissemination and sustainability. Furthermore, we deliver.

Strategy & Impact Assessment



Strategic review & development of an evaluation system for the Institute of Ismaili Studies

The overarching purpose has been to assist the Institute in building greater organisational capacity to support expansion of its educational programmes and deliver on its 15 year strategic plan. The consultancy has addressed both strategic fit and functional integration of a quality enhancement and innovation support unit and evaluation system, by providing a solution that accurately reflects the philosophies, aspirations and context for Islamic religious education across both UK and worldwide partners.

In identifying strategic, philosophical and cultural dimensions, this meant expanding education and its evaluation beyond the usual quality paradigms and moves into territories of pedagogical innovation and social impact. In developing a realistic, practical and robust system for educational evaluation across IIS departments and its collaborators, it has been crucial first to consider the strategy, structures, culture and capabilities of the organisation and to identify existing strengths and needs - whether these are currently obvious or not.  

"On behalf of my colleagues, I would like to thank you formally for completing the evaluation consultancy and for submitting to the IIS the set of reports which reflect outputs of the various phases. It has been a pleasure working with you, and providing input into the proposed evaluation approach which resonates in its overall philosophy with the Institute’s vision of striving for educational excellence.

We would like to acknowledge the work that you and your associates have undertaken at different levels – in reviewing our existing evaluation models, seeking input from various stakeholders, suggesting strategic and developmental options, and bringing to our attention the pragmatic value of logic models that can facilitate, in an integrative manner, the qualitative improvement of the educational programmes undertaken by the IIS’s three departments, including their implementation by the ITREBs [local religious education boards in each of our main partner countries].

We are also grateful for your support in the ‘hand-over’ process through additional meetings and a workshop with the interim working group. We will be presenting the outcomes of the consultancy to our Board, and based on their response to the recommendations, charting out accordingly the short and medium-term plans on evaluation at the IIS. We hope we can continue to draw on your professional advice on selected aspects of evaluation and other related projects as and when the need arises."

Shiraz Thobani, Head of Curriculum Studies, Institute of Ismaili Studies

Review of UK wide OER initiatives for the HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England)

In collaboration with the Synthesis & Evaluation Team for the JISC/HEA jointly funded UKOER programme, we undertaking a review of HEFCE's Open Educational Resources work of the entire HEFCE funded intervention in OER, which includes all phases of UKOER and the Open University's SCORE activities.

Anticipated outcomes include a deeper understanding concerning the ways in which OER investment has brought about cultural and practical changes
throughout the sector and the efficacy of the various methods employed. The review also seeks to build a solid evidence base from which to promote the international importance of the work supported by HEFCE in the OER field.


Evaluation support to the JISC (Joint Information Systems Committee)

A range of contributions to support JISC programmes, projects and services in evaluation and impact assessment. Our work involves scoping, consultation, developing guidance to practitioners & project managers for strategic and practical purposes around baselining, gathering of appropriate data, evidence of outcomes, benefits and impact and contributing to development of a wider frameworks for long term evaluation practices.

Recent work includes providing the Evaluation Support role for the JISC Developing Digital Literacies programme and Business & Community Engagement (BCE) CPD project.

An example of an
evaluation logic model for developing digital literacies.

"Belanda Consulting evaluated our project 'Trialling of Collaborative Online Tools for BCE' in 2011 and supported 8 trial institutions with their evaluations. The JISC project management team were most impressed with Belanda's tender. Their approach was collaborative; they were flexible in their approach, changing timescales to fit in with the individual trials and our milestones which changed. They reported their progress in a timely manner and met all their deadlines.

Each trial was very different, working with varied stakeholder communities and Belanda Consulting tailored their approach to meet the individual needs ... producing tools & templates that the trials were able to take into their evaluation process.

The infoNet team would be delighted to work with Belanda Consulting again if the opportunity arose."

Jacqui Kelly, Senior Adviser, JISC infoNet

External evaluation of JISC funded BCE programme & projects

The Business & Community Engagement (BCE) programme encompasses several strands and projects, using strategies and technologies to promote and support institutional collaboration with businesses and local community groups. Belanda Consulting have acted as the evaluation support team for two BCE projects (below) and separately undertook an external evaluation of the BCE programme as whole, focusing on institutional benefits and impact.

  • The BCE-CT project is looking at how collaborative online tools can foster and build engagement activities. The external evaluation focused on the project's overall effectiveness in meeting its objectives, the uses of collaborative tools in eight trial institutions and the impact on the wider strategic aims.
  • The BCE-CPD project is creating a usable and relevant professional development framework for BCE and an online support tool. The work involves a major collaboration between several professional bodies, the JISC, HE/FE institutions and BCE practitioners.   
"A big thank you for undertaking the work so carefully and methodically and producing such a thorough and balanced report which has many benefits including the remarkable richness of quotes and the very helpful classification of quotes and benefits, and other assimilated evidence."

Simon Whittemore, JISC BCE Programme Manager


External evaluation of the EQUESTA Leonardo Lifelong Learning e-VET CPD project

The EQUESTA project - Electronic, Quality assured,  European Steel Training and Assessment – is being led by The Steel Construction Institute (SCI), an independent, research and technical organisation supporting the use of steel in construction.  Funded under the Leonardo Lifelong Learning programme Priority 3 – developing relevant and innovative e-learning content – it comprises a transnational partnership with four Eastern European countries.

The project aimed to support improvements in quality, innovation and attractiveness for vocational education and training systems, institutions and practices by sharing practice and training across a pan-european social partnership and exploring opportunities to harmonise approaches to the assessment of both training materials and vocational competences within the EC VET framework.

The external evaluation has at the Interim Report stage, reviewed project processes and progress against pedagogical and partnership goals. Feasibility, transnationality, innovation and impact on target group is being explored as part of the summative component at Final Report stage. Using a qualitative approach, the external evaluation is examining project outcomes in relation to partnership effectiveness and transnational knowledge transfer, in particular in terms of the likelihood of uptake of products resulting from the project, their quality and relevance to end-users.

"I have nothing but positive comment on the way we were supported by Belanda Consulting in developing the scope of the evaluation, broadening our own views and consider alternatives.

Dr Dempster liaised with us closely to ensure the brief was clear and was careful at all times to work closely with the project team in a very supportive way.
I was delighted with management of the evaluation itself, which was conducted in a timely, professional way."

David Brown, SCI Deputy Director


External evaluation of a 'Course Designs Intensives' programme

The Course Design Intensives (CDIs) are a staff and learning development programme developed and delivered by Oxford Brookes University, originally as part of their e-learning strategy. The evaluation was based on methodologies, experiences and learning from CDI workshops and related support spanning 2003-2008. It examined the features and format of the workshop model and explored the benefits, limitations and critical success factors.

The study aimed to inform the local team around future work not only in supporting strategic decision-making centrally, but also the practices of providers within the institution. Other stakeholders included course teams and individual module leaders who may be considering the potential benefits of participation in a CDI process and staff development providers who may wish to use a similar model within their own institution.

On behalf of OCSLD, I can say that we respect Jay’s experience and expertise in carrying out this work. We are impressed by the solid understanding of the brief and effective management of the evaluation project as a whole.

The test of a good external evaluator is in reading their report and recognising that your institution and its cultures and processes have been understood. Jay’s work on these projects passes this test. Her interview and analysis skills resulted in some excellent insights across an appropriate range of stakeholders. We have no hesitation in recommending Jay to others, and have done so on several occasions.

Greg Benfield, OCSLD, Oxford Brookes University

External evaluation of CABLE Transfer, a JISC-funded e-Learning 'Pathfinder' project

CABLE Transfer is a HEA/JISC-funded Pathfinder phase 2 project, supporting change management for the implementation of blended learning, led by the University of Hertfordshire and involving universities of Sunderland, Worcester, St Mary’s Twickenham and Reading. The evaluation was conducted between February and July 2008 based on methodologies, experiences and learning within the participating institutions to which CABLE is being transferred.

The evaluation focused on the range of activities and interventions currently in place for the development and implementation of CABLE Transfer and the institutional context for participation. The work reported on the effectiveness of the CABLE Transfer work with its partner institutions. It provided evidence concerning the viability of the CABLE process as a transferable model to other institutions. It offers some recommendations for improvement of the transfer process.


Training needs analysis for ibd Business Advice Group

As ibd Training Manager, Jay undertook a review of the business enterprise curriculum, staff training needs and marketing strategy, and developed a course design guidelines, quality procedures, a tutor pack and comprehensive ibd Business Training website to support delivery of ibd'suite of SFEDI Awards across England & Wales.

The process has been documented via an
ibd business training Prezi presentation at the ibd National Conference 16th March 2015.

Article for ibd East Midlands -

Understanding training needs analysis  (TNA) for small businesses and how to do one

Curriculum innovation programmes of work

Jisc Developing Digital Literacies programme
Evaluation consultation for this two year programme supporting 12 institutional development projects.


Course Design Intensive programme
Consultation & workshop delivery for Oxford Centre for Staff & Learning Development (OCSLD) CDIs.

Curriculum support to the Institution for Structural Engineers

Consultancy support and workshop delivery contributing to scoping, design and implementation of new modes of teaching and learning under the auspices of a project entitled "Transforming Undergraduate Structural Engineering Education in the 21st Century." 


Supporting Lecturers' Innovation in Curriculum Enhancement (SLICE)
An initiative to support the planning and integration of purposeful innovation to enhance aspects of teaching and learning and to foster active communities of practice and facilitate peer support. Two 'action learning' groups were established one exploring educational solutions to Students' employability and the other Assessment and feedback on student learning. (Warwick)  

Students' Blending Learning User Patterns (BLUPs)
A 2 year JISC-funded project examiniong the ways in which new undergraduate students blend the modes of learning available to them, both from the personal domain and the institutional domain. (Warwick, Northumbria)

Evaluation of CAA in the Sciences project (Warwick)
An external evaluation concerning project processes, lessons learned, stakeholder feedback and recommendations emerging from the analysis.
HE Academy Pathfinder Project (Warwick)
HEA/JISC funded work introducing an accredited e-learning programme across seven HE institutions (Bristol, De Montfort, Hertfordshire, University of London IoE, Loughborough, Northampton, Oxford Brookes) and designing a departmental impact assessment of e-learning projects and support activities.
Institutional transferability of educational innovations
A HEFCE-funded study in 8 UK universities (Warwick, Oxford, Coventry, Sheffield Hallam, Bristol, Southampton, Manchester, UMIST)
Antiquity-Related Collections Harnessed for Educational Scenarios (ARCHES)
JISC X4Learning project (Warwick)

Review of project outcomes from national learning technology programmes
LTSN Generic Centre project

RESULTs Network (Resource Exchange and Support for Users of Learning Technologies)
JISC project (Warwick, Manchester)

Accessing and Networking with National and International Expertise (ANNIE)
FDTL3 project (Warwick, Kent)

Technology-Enhanced Learning in Research-led Institutions (TELRI)
TLTP3 project (Warwick, Oxford, Birmingham, Durham, Southampton).

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