Sport Wales grants: improve access and impact

With Sport Wales, CDPS has been exploring the barriers diverse grant applicants face © Rhett Lewis/Unsplash

What’s the goal of the project?

Increase the reach and impact of Sport Wales community investment grants.

What problems could the project solve for people?

The current grant application process throws up significant barriers to people who want to apply for a Sport Wales grant.

Through interviews in discovery (the first, research phase of Agile service design), the project team found that users lack the information they need, especially about eligibility for grants. Users are also put off by complicated language in the application process. At all stages of an application, users find getting help with their applications difficult.

An inflexible process and lack of clarity about eligibility are stopping people from applying for grants who should be able to.

Our work so far has shown that there is ample room to improve the current grant application process through user-centred service design. A more inclusive service would reduce the burden on users, while meeting the organisational needs of Sport Wales.

A user-centred service promises to make grants accessible to everyone who is eligible – so sport funding can make the real difference that it should.

Who’s involved?

CDPS’s main partner in this project is Sport Wales.

Our combined team has also depended heavily on the participation of the people whose needs it is intended to meet: grass-roots sport clubs, associations and communities across Wales, with a special focus on hard-to-reach groups.

We are using user-centred principles to design the grant application process with both users and Sport Wales in mind.

What has CDPS done so far?

In discovery, we gained a clearer view of the needs of grant applicants and the barriers they currently face. We also explored the technical, operational and design challenges of a grant application service. However, the research was broader than just looking at the grants system. The aim was to understand how Sport Wales community grants could increase their reach and impact.

We have also completed the next, experimental stage of Agile service design – alpha. In this stage, we designed and tested parts of the application process to meet the needs of current and potential users, as well as those of Sport Wales.

What’s coming up next?

We’re preparing to extend the previous alpha stage to design and test an end-to-end user journey, including how it affects back-office processes and system requirements. We are calling this extension ‘alpha-plus’.

How does this project help to deliver the digital strategy for Wales?

A user-centred grant application process will help to deliver upon the following strategy missions:

Mission 1: digital services

Deliver and modernise services so that they are designed around user needs and are simple, secure and convenient.

Blog posts

‘It’s a right pain to take a screenshot’

Once upon a time … on an Agile service team

Audio applications? Helping to throw the grants net wider

Prototype as a conversation starter

Sport Wales discovery – team learning

Sport Wales – end of discovery findings

Sport Wales discovery: what is it?