Category: Publications

Many of our projects have resulted in publications for wider dissemination. This section lists some of these documents; others can be found in postings on individual projects. We are in the process of updating this listing and associated resources.

Skills for Community Regeneration

Skills for Regeneration: Learning by Community Champions – report on research into skills needed and gained by individuals who have gained small grants through the Community Champions programme, funded by the Department for Education and Skills. The programme provided up to £2,000 to around 10,000 individuals across England between 2000 and 2007, with many projects led by these individuals targeted at disadvantaged groups, including disabled people and refugees. The programme was successful, but was one of the funding streams ultimately to be rolled into funding for Local Area Agreements. Report (RR441) and Research Brief (summary) (RB441) available for download from the Department for Education.

Permanent link to this article:

Mutual Advantage – Skills & VCOs

Mutual Advantage: Working with Voluntary and Community Organisations on Learning and Skills– report on research and development project in Hampshire, Sandwell and Wigan, on the opportunities and implications for the voluntary sector and the LSC of the new learning and skills agenda. Project report for Department for Education & Skills, published April 2001.It features:

  • Part 1 report, featuring key messages for Local Learning and Skills Councils and the voluntary sector, and lots of examples of capacity building and partnership working in practice ( pdf – 597 KB)
  • Part 2: case studies from project areas (Hampshire, Sandwell and Wigan) and other parts of the country (Birmingham, London, Norfolk and Yorkshire), and resources to help users review the roles voluntary organisations can play, strengthen partnership working and identify sources of funding for capacity building. ( pdf – 556 KB)
There is also a summary ( pdf – 243 KB).
‘Mutual Advantage’ has been very widely used (with high numbers of downloads from Government websites in addition to the printed copies) and was influential in the subsequent development of policy and relationships between the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) and the voluntary and community sector.

Permanent link to this article:

Business Support: Beacon Councils

Supporting business: what can we learn from the beacons?( pdf – 215 KB – a good practice guide based on the experience of the six ‘Fostering Business Growth’ Beacon Councils. Published by the Local Government Association (LGA).

The document looks at the roles that the Beacon Councils have performed in support of local business and the added value that they have created, before going on to review factors underlying their success. Whilst each area is very distinctive in terms of its industrial structure and community, there are common themes which help explain the difference they have made. The report finishes with a set of key messages for local authorities, central government and business audiences.

Permanent link to this article:

Learning to Deliver Digests

We produced regular bi-monthly issues of the Learning to Deliver Digest which brought together developments in policy and practice relevant to managers and practitioners whose roles concern driving change and improvement in partnership settings. The last in the series was in November 2009 ( 339KB).

Web links were provided for all items mentioned. Signposted documents included not only official publications and websites but also a variety of other materials which help readers ‘keep up with and ahead of the game’.

Each Digest featured notes on a handful of key developments in recent weeks and a section dedicated to LAA matters. These are followed by a fuller list of documents, tools and other resources – ranging across central and local government; climate change; community empowerment; community safety; children and young people;   economic development, skills and worklessness; health; housing; neighbourhood renewal and social exclusion; planning & transport; rural development; and the third sector. There were also cross-cutting themes of efficiency and improvement;  community empowerment;  and equality, diversity and cohesion.

The Digest was produced for the Learning to Deliver programme (Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands) and was funded by Communities and Local Government.

Permanent link to this article:

Trades unions and the Sub-National Review

At a time when significant changes were underway in the institutional framework for regional economic development, including a ‘more strategic’ role for Regional Development Agencies and a bigger role for local authorities, the North West TUC commissioned us to draft a briefing ( pdf 337KB) for the TUC website. This summarised the then Government’s proposals for implementing the Sub-National Review of Economic Development and Regeneration and the wider policy context including proposals for learning and skills budgets. Opportunities for trades unions to influence policy and investment were highlighted and explored in a workshop with trade union officers. The briefing mapped key organisations and partnerships in the North West and set out trade union involvement in these. It also provided a full listing of relevant partnerships and developments within the region.

Permanent link to this article:

Supporting Local Information and Research

Research for CLG (Department for Communities and Local Government) into factors driving changes in information, analysis and research in local government and how local, regional and national partners have been responding to these (with Oxford Consultants for Social Inclusion – OCSI – and Demographic Decisions). Recommendations related to:

  • streamlining and opening up access to data
  • improved packaging of datasets and analyses to meet user needs
  • action to avoid pitfalls in accessing and comparing data from related websites
  • improvements in national indicator sets to reflect what is needed and measurable at locality and neighbourhood levels
  • promotion of good practice in data sharing and use of geodemographic classifications
  • action to develop skills amongst researchers and analysts, including a skills framework and support for use of applications such as cost benefit analysis – as well as steps to encourage ‘intelligent customers’, influencing how decision-makers view and use what analysts have to offer
  • embedding local research and analysis functions in the search for improved services and outcomes in local authorities and partnerships
The report  (1,996 KB) was published by CLG in January 2009. The recommendations have been worked through in a number of contexts, including at national level involving the LGA, CLG, Audit Commission, etc. The report has influenced the work of Improvement and Efficiency Partnerships and decisions taken at local level to strengthen R&I capacity and collaboration. Derrick Johnstone facilitated a national workshop in December 2009 to review progress against recommendations.

Permanent link to this article: