Category: Resources

Brokering business connections

Evaluation of the Business Broker Programme – final report (Brokering Business Connections) for Business in the Community (BitC) and the then Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) on the national pilot programme, testing out the role of Business Brokers supporting business involvement in Local Strategic Partnerships (LSPs) and neighbourhood renewal.

The summary report is available for download from Business in the Community. Full report here ( pdf 700KB)

The evaluation has informed the development of Business Connectors, the current BitC programme described as a “powerful network of secondments recruited from business … to tackle social issues in local neighbourhood areas, and in so doing, create a powerful new development experience for talented business people”. This has been seen as a contribution to the Government’s agenda for the Big Society, with a major expansion funded by the Big Lottery Fund.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.educe.co.uk/?p=156

Customer Insight Skills Audit

Humber Innovation Partnership – formed by the four Humber councils and other public sector partners – commissioned a Customer Insight Skills Audit as part of their Customer Insight Programme. Its objectives were to:
  • take stock of the state of play in developing customer insight, including how customer insight is perceived and addressed
  • highlight good practice on which to build, and how to increase returns to insight activities
  • identify skills gaps and how best to meet these, notably through making the most of existing knowledge and expertise
The research was carried out primarily through an online survey aimed at strategic and service managers and analysts, and through face-to-face interviews.The report ( pdf 568KB) sets out the state of play on customer insight, factors driving and constraining its further development, skill requirements, gaps and expertise. There are recommendations for driving the agenda forward and for developing skills and capacity at LA level and across the Humber.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.educe.co.uk/?p=270

Value for money in partnership working

Challenges in determining value for money in partnership working have come up repeatedly in our work through Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands (IEWM) with local authorities and Local Strategic Partnerships. We have delivered workshops on the subject, along with a digest of on-line material on VfM, especially relating to research and tools which aid assessment of cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit (download  pdf 177 KB).An earlier briefing for IEWM provides background on the theme of VfM in partnership working (download pdf 176KB)

Permanent link to this article: https://www.educe.co.uk/?p=260

Good practice in data sharing

Problems with data sharing continue to be raised as a serious obstacle to developing effective, joined-up services to tackle worklessness at local level. Adverse consequences can include poor targeting of services, weak referral systems, duplicated provision and difficulties in determining value for money.This guide on Good Practice in Data Sharing ( 840 KB), published by Local Government Improvement and Development (now Local Government Association) in May 2010:
  • sets out the ways in which shared data can contribute in tackling worklessness
  • illustrates what can get in the way of data sharing – and what lies behind this
  • draws distinctions between different types of data sharing, and the importance of personal consent
  • explains the legal basis for data sharing around worklessness, including that affecting what DWP can and cannot share
  • highlights good practice and explores data sharing as partnership in action.
This was one of two How To guides produced by Educe for LGID, part of the series funded by DWP and CLG following the Houghton ‘Tackling Worklessness’ Review (TWR). It drew on the CLG/DWP Data Sharing Pilot Programme (a TWR project) and earlier work by Educe on Data Sharing for Neighbourhood Renewal. It was written to complement the DWP guidance on data sharing and worklessness and on data sharing and social security data. Note also that DWP are now making small area benefits data available (reducing the need for data sharing requests) – see their page on Output Area data.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.educe.co.uk/?p=257

Future Jobs Fund ‘How To’ guide

Educe produced the ‘How To’ guide on the Future Jobs Fund (331KB) for IDeA (now part of the Local Government Association) to help local authorities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises bid for and develop effective programmes. FJF was a recession response, linked to the recommendations of the Houghton ‘Tackling Worklessness’ Review, providing for the creation of 170,000 jobs (120,000 for young people and 50,000 for older adults in unemployment hotspots).The initial draft of the guide was circulated in late 2009 as organisations prepared bids and developed their plans, with a final version published in March 2010. This provided the background to FJF, advice on what makes a good bid and a good programme, and summarised success factors for delivery (eg, on engagement and publicity, programme design and management, and linking FJF and Apprenticeships). It also highlighted ‘top tips’ and practical things to watch out for.The Coalition Government subsequently closed FJF to new bids. However, contract holders delivered FJF into 2011. While much of the guide is FJF-specific, the content also includes lessons of wider relevant to the design and implementation of employment programmes.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.educe.co.uk/?p=252

Partnerships & Places case studies

Case studies for the Partnerships and Places Library, developed by IDeA (now part of the Local Government Association) – intended to enable ‘sharing learning and innovation to transform localities’. These have included:
  • Dorset Performance Management Partnership
  • Implementing a reward target in Derby: children’s physical activity
  • Manchester Economic Development Services Framework
  • Manchester: tackling worklessness amongst social housing tenants
  • Enable, Nottingham (learning and skills consortium in the voluntary and community sector)
  • Flight of the Flamingos, Wolverhampton (partnership development programme aimed at middle managers)
  • Lewisham: putting people first (an effective model for driving service improvement and efficiency savings, now being used in a partnership setting, a joint local authority/NHS centre for children with learning difficulties and their families)
  • Salford Spotlights (locality action planning)
  • Hull Youth Enterprise Partnership
More recent case studies have been published on the Work Together site, which the Local Government Association trialled as a precursor to their new Knowledge Hub:
  • Social Innovation Lab for Kent (SILK)
  • Oldham Reducing Teenage Pregnancy Through Information Sharing
  • Green Flag Thematic Study: Improving Economic Prosperity During the Recession
  • Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea’s Virtual School

The case studies were part of our work for IDeA/Local Government Improvement and Development under a framework contract for ‘Sustainable Communities’ and ‘Policy and Performance’. The Library also contains updated versions of case studies we orginated for the predecessor site, Renewal.net – such as B&Q Bolton recruitment policies.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.educe.co.uk/?p=182