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The Cities Strategy, 2007

Provision of assistance for local evaluation

The Cities Strategy aims to tackle worklessness in the most disadvantaged communities in the UK by combining the work of government agencies, local government and the private and voluntary sectors in a local partnership to provide support for jobless people to find and progress in work. Fifteen ‘pathfinder’ areas have been chosen to test this approach. Each pathfinder has developed plans for activities related to specific local issues and priorities, for instance; using funding committed by partners to fill gaps in existing provision; joining-up local activity more effectively, so that there is more clarity, less duplication and clearer routes for individuals to obtain the support needed to get back to work and ensuring the provision on offer is tuned to the needs of the local/ sub-regional labour market.

The purpose of this project is to provide professional advice and technical assistance to DWP and individual pathfinders regarding the evaluation of delivered activities against pathfinder business plans in each pathfinder area. The work will consist of five elements. These are:

  1. provision of a profile of the labour markets and key issues for pathfinder areas (highlighting similarities and differences);
  2. analysis of the local pathfinders business plans.
  3. development a generic evaluation framework to inform discussion of local evaluation strategies during visits to pathfinder areas.
  4. interviews with pathfinder representatives to collect additional information concerning pathfinder plans and intentions concerning evaluation.
  5. report on findings and the evaluation plans of all the pathfinders together with an assessment of the extent to which activities meet local needs and planned evaluation is capable of adequately assessing delivered activities.

The outputs from this project will be:

  • a brief report providing an overall assessment of the characteristics of pathfinder areas and the issues they face;
  • a brief report summarising the analysis of pathfinder area business plans;
  • a generic evaluation ‘framework’;
  • a final report summarising finding and making recommendations for evaluation in each pathfinder area.

IER project team:

Chris Hasluck

Anne Green

Michael Orton