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Digital Catapult NETV Evaluation Tender: Digital Pathfinders

Closing date:
March 23, 2023
Key Details
Publication date:
March 9, 2023
Closing date:
March 23, 2023

Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley are accepting submissions for an evaluation of the North of Tyne Digital Adoption Programme (known as “Digital Pathfinders”). The deadline for submissions is 23rd March 2023.

Tender information

Tender Overview

You are invited to submit a proposal to undertake an evaluation of the North of Tyne Digital Adoption Programme (known as “Digital Pathfinders”). The successful organisation or consultant (the ‘evaluator’) will work with Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley (NETV) to achieve the outcomes requested in this specification.  

The overall aim of the evaluation is to assess the progress and impact of Digital Pathfinders and make recommendations for the development of support delivery.

The programme of evaluation will take place in two stages, a formative assessment and summative assessment. There are several key areas that must be considered throughout the evaluation process to continuously improve and enhance the service delivery to customers.  

The timescale for this work is ongoing between April 2023 and February 2024.

1. Background

Digital Pathfinders helps SMEs, charities and social enterprises across Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside become more successful and resilient by adopting digital technology.  

Digital Pathfinders helps organisations mitigate the risk of adopting new technologies, equipping them with the understanding of potential investment required for relevant digital solutions. Digital Pathfinders is delivered in partnership with Digital Catapult North East Tees Valley, Generator and VONNE. The £2million programme is part-funded by Digital Catapult and North of Tyne Combined Authority (NTCA), as part of the North of Tyne Digital Growth and Innovation Programme.

2. Evaluation Aims and Scope of Tender

The evaluator will develop a methodology for effective evaluation, in order to achieve the following:

  • Demonstrate the impact of Digital Pathfinders against its stated aims and objectives;
  • Understand and assess the potential long-term impact of the project (beyond March 2024);
  • Assess the economic impact of the project in the North of Tyne area;
  • Assess the current perception of Digital Pathfinders amongst stakeholders and potential stakeholders; including awareness of services offered, positioning and brand;
  • Assess the content of the service offerings to ensure they meet the demands of the marketplace; where necessary make suggestions for improvement or the development of new services;
  • Assess the quality of delivery, with a focus on direct customer feedback and impact; i.e., the level of impact Digital Pathfinders has had for an organisation, whether the project intervention led to organisations making investment in digital solutions; - Highlight examples of best practice;
  • Support the development of 2 x annual reviews.  

3. Indicative Timescales

Stage 1: Formative Report – April 2023 to August 2023

Stage 2: Summative Report – September 2023 to February 2024

4. Outputs and Deliverables

Stage 1 – Formative Report

The formative report to be carried out in this stage should provide a clear picture of:

  • The current performance of the project against milestones and targets set, and its contribution to the North of Tyne Combined Authorities economic vision;
  • A forward projection of performance given current status and additional trend analysis where appropriate;
  • Awareness of Digital Pathfinders amongst SMEs, VCSEs and social enterprises in the North of Tyne area;
  • Highlight areas of good practice in the project, using appropriate case studies and any areas of concern in the project.  
  • Make suggestions as to how Digital Pathfinders can provide stakeholders and clients with a better service and widen its reach.

Methodology for obtaining the above requirements should be included in the tender response; however, any methodologies will be subject to refinement through discussions with Digital Catapult NETV.  Please note that we are looking for an evaluator with innovative ideas and mixed methodologies (i.e. not just online surveying of stakeholders).  

The formative report will be used by Digital Catapult NETV to form recommendations and provide data relevant for the funder to support project monitoring.

Stage 2 – Summative Report

A final evaluation report must be delivered at the end of January 2024.  This report will be a summative report, assessing current and potential impact and commenting on the performance of the project against its milestones and the specifics within each partners funding contract. It should cover:

  • The overall performance of the project against milestones and targets set, and its contribution to the region’s economic development;
  • Demonstrate whether awareness of digital adoption in the NTCA has increased as a result of the project;
  • Whether deployment of digital projects, as a result of project intervention, has increased operational efficiency to most businesses and organisations who have received support;
  • Understanding of whether the services offered still meet the needs of North of Tyne SMEs, VCSEs and social enterprises, with suggestions of improvement for future interventions.  

5. Delivery Period

Once the evaluator is appointed, it is anticipated that work will commence on the project in December 2022, and delivery will continue through to March 2024.

6. Next Steps

We are now inviting organisations and consultants to submit a proposal for this work.  

Your proposal should include in no more than 20 sides of A4 (+ CVs in appendix):

  • A brief description of your organisation/area of work.
  • A description of how you will approach the requirements for this work, specifically your proposed methodology for the requirements outlined in section 6.  
  • A short description of the expertise that would be applied to this work (including CVs in appendix).  
  • Examples of any previous work which is relevant (maximum 2 examples).
  • A quote for this work including VAT and expenses.

Work carried out during tender response development is at the discretion of the individual organisation and no reimbursement is available for said work.  

Quotations shall remain valid for a period of 90 days.

Digital Catapult NETV does not bind itself to accept the lowest or any quotation, and reserves the right to accept a portion of any quotation unless the supplier expressly stipulates otherwise in their quotation.  

7. Selection & Indicative Milestone Process


Deadline for Receipt of Proposals - Thursday 23rd March 2023 (5pm)

Presentation by Shortlisted organisations (if necessary) - Thursday 30th March 2023

Contract awarded - Tuesday 4th April 2023

Formative Assessment Period - April 2023 – July 2023

Start of Summative Assessment Process - August 2023

Indicative Date for Completion - February 2024

The following scoring criteria will be used to evaluate bids:

Criteria and Weighting %

Understanding of project requirements  - 25%

Proposed methodology and design of service, including innovative methods of beneficiaries' engagement - 40%

Relevant experience of staff to be involved in the project - 20%

Value for money  - 15%

The value of this contract will be in the region of £14,000 (excluding VAT but inclusive of expenses).

Please send an electronic version to Jenny Sutcliffe ( no later than 5pm (BST) on Thursday 23rd March 2023.

Any queries on the tender should be directed to Jenny Sutcliffe at

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