Our aim



Look forward and imagine that in 2021 we achieved our shared ambition of 2 million people moving across Greater Manchester. We have reduced inequalities and people across the city region are living healthier, happier more successful lives.

Then everyone wants to know how we have done it to share best practice, but we don’t know.

What have we done?

To avoid this, we have set up a GM Moving evaluation group which is made up of key GM Moving leaders from across the system. Over the past year they have;


  • Articulated research questions in ways that are true to the whole system approach of GM Moving, taking into account the complexity and emergent nature of this work.
  • Ensured that we are asking questions that will help us to measure what really matters.
  • Explored ways to analyse, interpret and share quantitative and qualitative data in meaningful ways that help leaders across the system in their work.
  • Capture and share the learning in real time; informing and influencing the work and changing leadership practice.

Phase 1: The GM Moving Journey and Learning (to September 2018)

The team worked with the Revaluation collaborative to capture the journey and the learnings of GM Moving from 2014-2017. This enabled system leaders to learn how they could further influence behaviour change in a complex system. The approach was an innovative process for making and measuring change and it engaged leaders in the system as co-researchers as they participated in the work together. Over 90 Greater Manchester leaders were involved in the work in the form of conversations, workshops and in depth interviews.

The learning has helped in a number of ways:

  • 1

    It has captured the journey to date.

  • 2

    It addresses some of the key questions that Greater Manchester leaders and those elsewhere are interested in understanding.

  • 3

    It has helped to shape the questions that need to be continually explored in the ongoing evaluation.

  • 4

    It has demonstrated how evaluation can be emergent and co-designed, rather than a piece of work which is ‘done to’ the system, from outside, and delivered at the end of the process.

  • 5

    A series of pointers for leadership practice which emerged from the work are providing a learning tool for leadership in the context of complex systems. They have helped to start meaningful conversations about the leadership behaviours that are conducive to behaviour change in a whole system approach.

  • 6

    The research has provided an evidence base that enables leaders to stay true to the Greater Manchester principles and ways of working, since it demonstrates how those behaviours are a catalyst for change and impact. This helps system leaders to hold themselves and others to account when decisions are being made in the work.


“In Greater Manchester the report has been useful to GM Moving leaders, but also those working on the wider reform agenda and the Greater Manchester Strategy. It provides useful learnings for a wider audience about system change and how we can influence it. Those in GMCA, GMHSCP, TfGM and other partners are drawing on the learning to inform their approach to system change.” W

“It has helped me to ‘be brave’. I have been more vocal in some meetings than I might have been in the past. An example would be the Statutory Health and Wellbeing Board which comprises senior elected members, primary care providers and commissioners, public health, local authority etc where I gave feedback on the draft strategy. My feedback wasn’t just about content but who, how, conditions for collaboration, leadership etc. I followed up with some observations on the form of the meeting with the Chairman who welcomed them (which was really positive). I followed up with some informal conversations with members who I felt connected with my feedback. I have been able to take this further and a Chief Executive has agreed to bring together a small group from the Board to think through how we need to change practice for improved partnership working.”

Further Details

For more information on our evaluation processes or findings contact hazel@greatersport.co.uk.