Women’s Programme Evaluation (Years 3 and 4)

GamCare

The Client

GamCare is the leading UK charity working to minimise gamblingrelated harm. Women represent almost half the total number of people who gamble in the UKand GamCare estimates that only around 1% of women who are experiencing gamblingrelated harm receive help and support. The GamCare Women’s Programme aims to reduce the amount of gambling-related harm experienced by women.

The Project

inFocus was contracted by GamCare to undertake an evaluation of the Women’s Programme in Years 3 & 4. The programme has been evaluated in each year of operation, with inFocus also undertaking the evaluation in Year 2.

The evaluation of Years 3 and 4 aimed to build on prior objectives to further GamCare’s understanding of the causes and potential solutions to harmful gambling amongst women; provide a robust, external validation of what the programme achieved during the year; and provide an assessment of how well the Women’s Programme is meeting its objectives of building a network around the issue and raising awareness with different audiences, including underserved groups. In addition, GamCare hoped to enable greater learning about women and gambling by synthesising programme insights to date and facilitating conversations about these insights through the evaluation.

Our support

To meet the above objectives, inFocus deployed a developmentalstyle evaluation approach in order to provide GamCare with learning ‘onthego’ over Years 3 and 4 of the programme. The evaluation began with an inception meeting and then an evaluation design workshopinvolving many staff members from across GamCare to ensure that the design of the evaluation would be fit for all purposes.

Subsequently, inFocus and GamCare jointly developed five evaluation questions to guide the evaluation. In addition to analysing both the  quantitative baseline/ endpoint data and mainly qualitative monthly reports, inFocus decided to use a comparative case study approach to compare engagement in the programme across different regions. Case studies were produced for the East Midlands, London and the South East, Scotland and Wales.

Findings and reporting

It was uncovered through the evaluation that several enabling and inhibiting factors affected the programme’s success in different regions.

Enabling factors included:

  • Having management buy-in and a shared ethos from the participating organisations;
  • Providing clear messaging on the training’s purposes and contents;
  • The flexibility made possible by providing online delivery of the training;
  • Tailoring the training to the audience’s needs;
  • Having competent trainers; and
  • Reaching universal service providers that, in turn, reach a wide audience.
Inhibiting factors included:
  • lack of sensitisation of professionals on the need for training and support in the area of gambling-related harm for women;
  • Difficulties in reaching under-represented groups;
  • lack of ongoing information about the programme; and
  • ‘one-size fits all’ geographic approach with a London-centric feel.

Outcomes

The evaluation found that in Year 3, 6,797 professionals were trained and in Year 4, 6,130 professionals were trained. The Year 3 training was very effective at improving the professionals’ understanding of how problem gambling impacts women they work with: 18% (227 out of 1,288 surveyed) were ‘fairly’ or ‘completely’ confident in their understanding of how problem gambling affects the women they work with before the training, but 95% (859 out of 909 surveyed) were fairly or completely confident after the training. In addition, the Year 3 training has improved the participants’ ability to recognise the causes, risk factors and signs of problem gambling in women. In terms of trainees actually making more referrals for women into gambling support / treatment services following their participation in the training, qualitative evidence suggests that some staff are now making more referrals.

Want to see more?

Check out our other Case Studies to read more examples of our work.