Community Budgets presentation by Angela Hands 9 July 2013

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Measuring the costs and benefits of Whole-Place Community Budgets

Angela Hands, Director – Communities and Local Government Value for Money

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Community Budgets presentation by Angela Hands 9 July 2013

  1. 1. Measuring the costs and benefits of Whole-Place Community Budgets9 July 2013 Measuring the costs and benefits of Whole-Place Community Budgets Angela Hands, Director – Communities and Local
  2. 2. Measuring the costs and benefits of Whole-Place Community Budgets Whole-Place Community Budgets bring together several important developments in public policy and service delivery
  3. 3. Measuring the costs and benefits of Whole-Place Community Budgets Key findings of NAO report March 2013
  4. 4. Measuring the costs and benefits of Whole-Place Community Budgets Ideas underpinning WPCBs are not new • Partnership working is established • Many past government-sponsored initiatives with similar aims, e.g. • Joint PSAs • Local/Multi Area Agreements • Area-Based Grant • Total Place • Locally-led initiatives (e.g. LSPs, joint/strategic commissioning)
  5. 5. Measuring the costs and benefits of Whole-Place Community Budgets But the evidence base from past initiatives with similar objectives is weak • Very limited robust evidence quantifying impact of joint working/ resource alignment on outcomes • Of 181 publications that met our search criteria (commenting on ‘joint working’ initiatives) only ten covered impact on outcomes. • Of these ten, seven reported a lack of robust evidence that joint or collaborative working improved outcomes for service users. • The remaining three raised methodological issues that weakened the reliability of results. • Similar findings from related NAO studies, e.g. recent reports on Early action and Integration across government • Pointing to system-wide failure to generate sufficient robust evidence
  6. 6. Measuring the costs and benefits of Whole-Place Community Budgets The Department for Communities and Local Government decided to establish a new initiative Department issues prospectus – 4 areas chosen to take part in pilot exercise Areas submitted operational plans and detailed business case to the Department
  7. 7. Measuring the costs and benefits of Whole-Place Community Budgets Purpose “to thoroughly test out how Community Budgets comprising all funding on local public services can be implemented in [ ] areas to test the efficacy of the approach.” In practice areas have taken a pragmatic approach…
  8. 8. Measuring the costs and benefits of Whole-Place Community Budgets …consistent with a mature approach to managing cost-reduction and integration (though early days)
  9. 9. Measuring the costs and benefits of Whole-Place Community Budgets Areas recognised the importance of good evidence and cost-benefit analysis • Progress to date • All areas using CBA to cost proposals and quantify benefits/ show who gains • Strong commitment to evaluation (including RCTs in some areas) and phased roll-out • Some areas developed ‘investment agreements’, sometimes subject to the results of evaluation • Continuing challenges • Developing the ‘counterfactual’ (especially where existing service/assets decommissioned – important to know what you are giving up) • Updating knowledge of key risks/sensitivities
  10. 10. Measuring the costs and benefits of Whole-Place Community Budgets Local areas and central government worked together effectively to deliver their plans • ‘Co-production’ between central government and local bodies was an important defining feature • Local areas playing the lead role in determining scope of the exercise • Secondees from Whitehall were embedded in local area teams – central government supporting rather than driving change • High-level analytical input into, and challenge of, local areas’ plans • Representing a promising model for future policy design and delivery between central government and local areas
  11. 11. Measuring the costs and benefits of Whole-Place Community Budgets Next steps for WPCBs • In local areas, implementation of proposals and evaluation of results • Network established to support community budgets in the four areas and other areas • Continued engagement across government will be key o On-going dialogue around more systemic and longer-term reforms to local funding o Specific technical advice around CBA and elements of implementation o Factoring in lessons for integration to mainstream central government processes (e.g. Spending Review)
  12. 12. Measuring the costs and benefits of Whole-Place Community Budgets Parliament has expressed a strong interest in Community Budgets • The Public Accounts Committee took evidence from central and local government witnesses on Community Budgets (and integration across government) in May 2013 • PAC report expected in the summer • CLG Select Committee inquiry underway

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