Evaluating the New Deal for Communities programme

The National Evaluation of the ODPM New Deal for Communities (NDC) was undertaken by a consortium led by Sheffield Hallam University. OCSI were asked to provide additional analysis by the Oxford University SDRC group, examining changes in worklessness and educational attainment across the 39 NDC areas.

Our Approach

OCSI initially helped develop the individual-level DfES educational attainment and DWP benefits recordsets into a usable format. Our experience of working with large complex datasets was crucial in dealing with the DWP “GMSONE” benefits database, with tens of gigabytes of data held across several non-standard time series databases.

Further analysis from OCSI with the education datasets was used to identify trends across the NDC areas, in comparison with matched comparator areas across England. The results from both the worklessness and education analysis were incorporated into the 2005 National Evaluation report.


The NDC programme has been a key part of the Government’s strategy to revitalise the country’s poorest neighbourhoods. The programme, launched in 1998, targets 39 severely deprived areas and will invest around £2 billion in them over 10 years.

Evaluation of the NDC programme is key to identifying and understanding effective ways of tackling Neighbourhood Renewal through local programmes and participation.

OCSI analysis showed that the NDC areas were increasing in terms of educational attainment and entry to Higher Education, and increasing faster than England as a whole. Additionally, OCSI development of the DWP benefits databases enabled further analysis to show that worklessness rates in NDC areas were falling faster than both England as a whole, and faster than a set of matched comparator areas.

To find out how OCSI can help you make effective use of the evidence base please Contact Us.

See more examples of OCSI projects on the All Projects page.


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