OCSI were commissioned by the Investing in Communities (IiC) Partnership in Bedfordshire and Luton to develop and assess the evidence base regarding deprivation, in order to identify areas and/or themes for potential development under the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) regional IiC programme.
The IiC programme aims to boost the economy through tackling deprivation. The OCSI study highlighted specific areas and themes for potential IiC support, based on a range of local, regional and national research and datasets. As well as carrying out a range of primary research and analysis, the project incorporated results from a variety of additional studies in order to develop a detailed measurement of need across the County.
Further project mapping analysis was carried out to identify gaps in provision, including a series of interviews with key stakeholders and collation of project audit information. Basing the research on best practice evidence from the literature on “what works” as well as the identified gaps in provision, OCSI and partners Roger Tym highlighted specific programmes for potential IiC funding. Identified programmes included expanding the vocational curriculum for pre-NEETs aged 14-16, enhanced support for childcare provision in the most deprived areas, development of an adult skills institute, and support for Jobcentre Plus and Primary Care Trust programmes to help those with limiting long-term illness improve skills and engagement with employment.
OCSI’s Need Measurements study was central to the Bedfordshire and Luton partnership being awarded annual funding of over £5 million under the IiC programme. The five key strategic areas identified by OCSI and local partners were also supported by EEDA for the IiC programme:
- Worklessness and limiting illness
- Children and education
- Transition from school
- Adult skills
- Supporting business and social enterprise
The next stage of the business planning process will involve detailed planning for each of the proposed programmes, drawing on the Needs Measurement and Gap Analysis studies.
Following on from the measuring need study, OCSI and partner organisation Roger Tym were commissioned for further work with local stakeholders to identify the “gaps in provision” across the County.
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See more examples of OCSI projects on the All Projects page.