Eight Principles

When the IOA considers projects and proposals, we bear in mind the following eight principles:


  • Could this continue or have a lasting effect after the funding ends?
  • Will it build local capacity?
  • Does it require administrative structures?
  • Will it build the evidence-base for future funding?
  • Will it achieve long-term improvements to local systems?


  • Does it duplicate anything that already exists locally?
  • Is there a way of rationalising/merging what is already in place locally to achieve the same objective?


  • How strong is the evidence that it will work?
  • Does the evidence suggest it will work in this context? If we are not sure then can and will evaluation, be built in?
  • Is the proposed spend proportionate to the likelihood of success?
  • Is there concrete data to support using the intervention that is not just derived from anecdotal evidence?

Value for Money

  • Does this approach represent value for money? Is there another way to achieve the same or similar effect for less investment? How high is the risk that it will not work at all?
  • By funding an intervention, are you unlocking other funds (match funding) or adding value to an initiative funded from another source.


  • How hard is this to deliver?
  • How expensive is it to deliver?
  • Is it deliverable to the required timescales within the current capacity of the system?
  • What is the likelihood that results will be high impact and is there a risk in delivery?


  • What impact does this programme have on local capacity and can it be joined up effectively with other activity to be coherent and maximise impact?


  • Is this something new [and therefore lacking an evidence base] and do we have a plan for evaluating it?
  • Is there coordination across multiple OAs, where a similar need has been identified?

Equality Impact

  • Does the proposed policy intervention have ‘due regard’ to the needs of those individuals covered by the Public Sector Equality Duty? The protected characteristics for the purpose of the act are; sex; race; disability; religion or belief; sexual orientation; pregnancy and maternity; gender reassignment; and age.


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