Client: Welsh Assembly Group


CF was the WAG’s flagship programme for the economic and social development of deprived communities. It was introduced in 2001 and at the time of the evaluation supported 157 communities covering in total 20% of the population of Wales and including its most deprived communities. AMION was appointed to prepare an Outcome Evaluation of CF and Old Bell 3 (supported by AMION) was appointed to undertake a Process Evaluation of CF – The Next Phase. The evaluation was complex not least due to the variety of the communities involved and the diversity of activities and outcomes generated. The research involved a mix of quantitative and qualitative techniques and the analysis of impacts involved both ‘top down’ and ‘bottom up’ research. Work carried out as part of the evaluation included:

  • a review of area conditions – involving the assembly and analysis of socio-economic data at an LSOA level which was then aggregated to the varying spatial geographies of the CF areas;
  • a review of performance management data and local evaluation material;
  • econometric modelling – to analyse factors that appear to be influencing change in the areas to estimate the attributable impact of CF and support the analysis of value for money;
  • development of primary research instruments – including
  • a web-based survey questionnaire and semi structured discussion guides for the various fieldwork stages; a web based survey – following questionnaire design and trialling with a small number of CF co-ordinators, the survey was sent to all (147) CF co-ordinators to gather their views on a range of outcome and process issues relating to the programme;
  • 25 case study areas – in each area, a programme of fieldwork was undertaken, based on an initial desk-based review of key documents,
  • and involving interviews with Co-ordinators and staff, Board Members and representatives of partner organisations. In total, 309 individuals across the 25 areas were interviewed; and interviews with stakeholders – some 45 stakeholders, predominantly at national level, were interviewed. A particular emphasis was on the extent to which CF had exerted strategic influence on other organisations.

Two interim reports were produced in December 2010 outlining initial findings for the Outcomes and Process evaluations and a combined final report was produced in July 2011. This comprised:

  • a review of the overall operation of the programme and the characteristics of the target areas;
  • an analysis of changes in the CF areas over the programme period in terms of community capacity, economic activity, education and skills, crime and community safety, health and wellbeing and environment and housing;
  • conclusions on overall impact and assessment of value for money;
  • an assessment of CF Processes – including their rationale, design suitability and effectiveness;
  • and a series of conclusions and recommendations concerning the future of the Programme.

For a copy of this Evaluation Report please see this link:
http://wales.gov.uk/topics/housingandcommunity/regeneration/communitiesfirst/resources/publications/commfirsteval/?lang=en

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