David Sims, Clare Southcott, Kelly Kettlewell, Eleanor Stevens
28 September 2012
The LGA commissioned NFER to carry out an evaluation of the National Youth Agency’s (NYA) tailored support offer to local authorities (LAs), which offers LAs the opportunity to apply for personalised consultancy, advice, training and peer support. The research involved three strands: a desk review of the bids received for the tailored support programme and baseline telephone interviews with LAs; semi-structured case study interviews with stakeholders involved in the programme, and follow-up interviews with LA representatives to explore impact. The final report pulls together the findings from the three phases of the evaluation to draw out the key messages.
- Most areas received support with restructuring services which was often coupled with secondary areas of support such as commissioning or outcomes measurements.
- LAs had a clear idea of their expectations for the support and were almost unanimously positive about the experience of receiving support.
- LAs valued having a respected, external party to consult stakeholders, validate development work and, in turn, positively influence and engage staff and politicians. They felt they benefited from the external expertise and critical friend role undertaken by the NYA associate, which are central to the success of the support.
- The matching of the NYA associate to the LA is a crucial element of the programme as the resultant relationship has been seen to be very important to the success of the support.