Rachel Moreton

I recently spent an informative and enjoyable afternoon at the CLINKS event “Justice Data Lab – one year on”.

The Justice Data Lab is an exciting step forward in making use of  government data to better understand what works in reducing reoffending. It is part of a wider, ambitious project led by NPC to open up government data to the not-for-profit sector to help them understand the impact of their work.

A key, but challenging, element of the Fulfilling Lives: Supporting people with multiple needs evaluation is using administrative data, on offending, benefits, use of health services and so on to estimate the cost of supporting people with multiple needs, and evidence the impact of the programme. So we will be keeping a keen eye on how this work develops over the coming months and years and considering ways the evaluation might benefit from it. Continue reading

Vic Citarella

It is, perhaps, self-evident that people with complex needs frequently require correspondingly multiple and complex responses…. wrote Henwood and Hudson in their 2009 CSCI study Keeping it personal. Now as Carers’ Week passes we have, in the Care Act, the strongest rights yet for carers. When put together with the duty of assessment for young carers, in the Children and Families Act, the legislative framework is suitably reflective of the very complexity identified for policy makers five years ago. It is a challenge for the Fulfilling Lives: supporting people with multiple needs evaluation to explore, understand and share how project investment resolves the problematic issues of real life complexity. Those involved in caring relationships shaped by homelessness, criminal behaviours, substance misuse and fragile mental health are potential benefiting contributors to making the most of that significant investment. The evaluation process has to identify both the benefits and contributions of carers to the success of Fulfilling Lives. Continue reading

Vic Citarella

The parliamentary ‘ping-pong’ is over, amendments agreed between the Lords and the Commons and the Care Act has Royal Assent.  Everyone – local authorities, NHS bodies, public, voluntary and private organisations – are busy assessing the potential impact of the new law on what they do. How will it help/hinder; what are the gaps; what are the costs; what will we do now and what can wait; which clauses take priority; who is going to do what and how will we cope? The questions go on and the project and risk management training is put to the test. Projects will be making similar judgements themselves and the national evaluation team too will be considering how it might impact on our work on Fulfilling Lives; Supporting people with multiple needs. Continue reading

Abigail Diamond

Big Lottery Fund today (12th Feb) announced the 12 areas that will receive a share of the £112 million Fulfilling lives: supporting people with multiple needs fund. Congratulations to all those projects that have worked so hard to get here.

Although the projects are only being announced today, CFE has been involved for almost a year now and as Jon Adamson said in his blog of last September, it’s great to have been involved so early in an evaluation. So what has this early involvement enabled us to achieve? One of the main things we’ve been working on over recent months is developing a common data framework which is designed to ensure that all of the 12 project areas are gathering comparable and consistent data. This will enable us to combine it to understand what’s been achieved at across the initiative as a whole, as well as for each type of activity projects are implementing. We’ve also been working to make connections with national agencies that hold administrative data on prior service use. We would like to use this data to evidence changes in service use over time, and therefore potentially identify long-term savings for the public purse, resulting from people participating in the initiative. We’ve also been developing our thinking and plans for measuring the counterfactual or what might have happened without the initiative; this will help us to attribute any outcomes we see to the work of the funded projects. Continue reading

Associate Director, CFE Research

It’s not uncommon for evaluators to be called in at the last minute when a service or project is coming to an end (and running out of money) and being asked to ‘prove that it works’. And preferably by the end of the month please! So you appreciate you’re onto a good thing when you get the chance to work on a large-scale evaluation over an eight year period and you get involved in that work before the service delivery actually starts.
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