Tag Archive: performance

Apr 20 2015

Use of evidence in Parliamentary business

Improving future use of research and evidence featured in the conclusions of the Communities and Local Government Select Committee inquiry into its work since 2010.

Looking to the new 2015 Parliament, the Committee recommended exploring how organisations such as the Alliance for Useful Evidence and the What Works Centres might usefully feed into the Committee’s future work, eg, in undertaking rapid reviews of available evidence on inquiry topics.

The Alliance for Useful Evidence submitted evidence jointly with Derrick Johnstone of Educe, author of our report, Squaring the Circle: evidence at the local level. Our submission updated some developments since its publication in 2013, and set out recommendations relating to the future work of the Committee.

The Committee acknowledged several of our suggestions, not least on the need to draw on wider sources of evidence and apply standards of evidence such as those adopted by Bond, the UK membership body for international development.

The Committee expressed concern about the DCLG response to its calls to explain the evidence base lying behind some areas of policy decision-making. It is attracted by the example of the Education Committee’s ‘evidence check’ where views are invited on the strength of evidence from the Department of Education on selected Committee themes. This web forum is intended to help with identifying where contrasting evidence exists and shape future Committee work.

Amongst proposals for future Committee inquiries are Devolution and City Deals. We, like the RSA City Growth Commission, highlight underlying issues around analytical capacity, skills and data as a significant area of risk to successful implementation. These are worthy of the Committee’s attention, looking at, eg:

  • how local authorities and their partners are adapting and strengthening their capabilities
  • how far information sharing and open data developments are supporting judicious innovation and improving evaluation of impact and ‘what works’
  • how well Government departments and local authorities are developing common understanding of evidence requirements, and
  • the contribution of government initiatives such as the What Works Centres and the Public Sector Transformation Network to local decision-making and capacity building.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educe.co.uk/?p=1326

Aug 21 2011

Place Advisor – Improvement & Efficiency

The final stage of our place-based work with Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands (IEWM) involved advice to the Coventry Partnership, in support of their IEWM-funded improvement project. This undertook qualitative research with young men (aged 16-35) in one part of the City, seeking to understand better their concerns, motivations and use of local public services. Partners sought to clarify what works and what doesn’t in how they work with different groups within this population, find better approaches and achieve both improved outcomes and savings.We also assisted the Coventry, Solihull and Warwickshire sub-regional partnership,  building on their Total Place pilot. This aimed to generate savings, develop radical new forms of service delivery, accelerate performance and spread best practice. Projects within the programme related, eg, to children’s services, adult social care, procurement and asset management, strategic planning and infrastructure. Advice focused, for example, on performance metrics and shared services.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educe.co.uk/?p=259

Sep 20 2010

Locality Working in West Cumbria

This Local Improvement Advisor assignment sought to help mainstream service managers in West Cumbria:
  • consider and apply the learning from neighbourhood management pilots in Workington and Whitehaven, and
  • develop skills in assessing cost-effectiveness and applying collaborative techniques for service improvement.
With the decisions to create Local Strategic Partnerships in Copeland and Allerdale and disband the West Cumbria Strategic Partnership, the project shifted to the introduction of locality working in both Districts, including a Cumbria pilot involving Allerdale District Council and the County Council. In this, its main focus became drawing the lessons from the neighbourhood management initiatives.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educe.co.uk/?p=253

Jun 01 2010

Learning to Deliver resources

Learning to Deliver – support for LSPs and LAAs in the West Midlands

As part of our work for the Learning to Deliver programme (Improvement & Efficiency West Midlands), we produced a series of topical briefings relevant to the work of partners in LSPs. These included:

Five Steps to Better Outcomes ( pdf 583KB): a guide to delivery planning, assisting local partners in making a success of Local Area Agreements, working out how best to achieve community outcomes. These were produced between 2008 and 2010 for Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educe.co.uk/?p=131

May 27 2010

Working Neighbourhoods Fund Evaluation Scoping

The Working Neighbourhoods Fund (WNF) was established by Communities and Local Government and the Department for Work and Pensions in 2008. It replaced the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund and the DWP Deprived Areas Fund in allocating to 65 local authorities to help them and their partners tackle concentrations of worklessness.We were members of a team led by the Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge, alongside Cambridge Econometrics and the University’s Centre for Housing and Planning Research.

The brief was to provide a baseline and interim evaluation consists of three parts: (a) a top line analysis of labour market conditions in WNF areas; (b) an early assessment of how strategies and approaches to tackle worklessness were being developed in WNF areas; and (c) recommendations for future evaluation of WNF. The research involved a literature review, an online survey of all WNF areas, and depth interviews in 20. Download the Report   (2,286 KB).

A further output was an assessment of the feasibility of a national evaluation of Working Neighbourhoods Fund. Action on this was negated by the change of government in 2010.

Derrick Johnstone was subsequently asked by CLG as a Local Improvement Advisor to lead a review of progress being made on the implementation of the Working Neighbourhoods Fund in preparations for the 2010 Spending Review.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educe.co.uk/?p=245

May 27 2009

West Cumbria Public Service Delivery Board

Educe were invited to facilitate a workshop for members of the West Cumbria Public Service Delivery Board (PSDB), to help ensure that it is ‘fit for purpose’ for the future and maximises its potential. The workshop sought to:
  • clarify what partners really hoped to achieve through the PSDB: outcomes and service improvements for local people – and benefits for partner organisations
  • consider what does the PSDB need to be good at, and how it needs to change & develop
The ground covered included priority setting, the style of meetings and agendas and the role of individual partners in making things happen.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.educe.co.uk/?p=238

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