Leeds City Council and its partners have secured £4.8 million from the Department for Education’s Innovation Programme, which aims to kick-start the most promising proposals for new ways of providing children’s social care. The funding will be used to transform the whole children’s social care system in the city, implementing a restorative, family-centred model that works with families to build the skills, support and resilience so they can find their own solutions to the challenges they face and solve problems earlier, before they reach a point of crisis. The RTK Ltd, along with the University of Nottingham, are members of a consortium led by ICF International that has been contracted by Leeds City Council and the Department for Education to evaluate the transformation.
Public Health England (PHE) commissioned the RTK Ltd to develop and disseminate the evidence base concerning the prevention of dementia, with specific reference to the impact that smoking has on dementia risk and disease progression. The project established an evidence base that key stakeholders, in particular local authorities, clinical commissioning groups, can use to inform strategy and service delivery in relation to improving health through promoting smoking cessation. PHE commissioned theRTK Ltd to review conduct a Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) to identify evidence of the relationships between smoking and dementia, to develop a robust business case based on rigorous social return on investment (SROI) modelling; to undertake primary qualitative research to evaluates the attitudes of smokers towards dementia risk and smoking behaviour change; and to disseminate key findings to relevant commissioning and service delivery stakeholders.
The People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) recently sought to expand its charitable objects; it submitted a proposal to the Charity Commission to that end. The proposal was for the PDSA to widen its remit. The Charity Commission wished to ensure that the potential impacts of the proposed changes were explored in sufficient detail as to enable ministers to make informed responses to any objections that might be raised. The PDSA commissioned theRTK Ltd to summarise existing evidence concerning potential impact of the proposed changes on economic/financial issues, and on ‘public benefit’.
Lambeth Council is at the forefront of a new approach to the way local authorities deliver public services; it has become one of the country’s first Co-operative Councils. This new approach redefines the relationship between the council and the citizens it services. At its heart is an assumption that public services are more responsive when power is shared between citizens and government. To support the effective roll out of this approach, Lambeth have commissioned theRTK Ltd to review ten existing evaluation reports in a way that provides a strong, structured narrative enabling future development to be based on a rigorous, evidence-based understanding of how best to create the conditions that lead to the successful delivery of coproduced outcomes.
As part of its commitment to rolling out the processes and procedures that will enable it to become a fully Cooperative Council, Lambeth Council is rolling out a major new prototype of Community-Based Commissioning (CBC), cooperative commissioning at a local level. The objective is to use roll out of the prototype as an opportunity to improve the Council’s understanding of how CBC might enhance the delivery of importance services and outcomes, at the same time exploring whether and what internal organisational changes might be required were the decision scale up CBC across Lambeth. To that end, Lambeth has commissioned an evaluation of the prototype from theRTK Ltd and Queen Mary, University of London. Using a Theory of Change approach, the consortium is delivering an evaluation to support Lambeth in understanding the processes that underpin the effective delivery of CBC, and assess the extent to which CBC activity leads to the development of stronger communities and more cost effective delivery of service outcomes. It will provide the Council with a sound evidence base to support decisions concerning the future of CBC as a borough-wide service delivery strategy.
London Youth has commissioned theRTK Ltd to evaluate their Athan 31 programme. London Youth is a network of around 400 youth clubs and community organisations in London. A key element of the activities supported by London Youth is young people coming together to lead and learn from projects they have created themselves. This new project, Athan 31 – My Team, My Club, My Community aims to develop this culture of youth innovation and leadership by providing young people with the framework and resources to determine and deliver activities in their communities with the support of a youth worker. Having successfully attracted additional funding, London Youth are rolling out the programme across 40 youth clubs in the London area, involving up to 580 young people; roll out is scheduled over the period March 2014 to March 2015.
The Youth Sport Trust (YST) has commissioned theRTK Ltd to deliver an outcome and process evaluation to establish the impact of their Lead Your Generation: An Inclusive Future programme, funded by the Big Lottery. The results will enable the YST to identify the extent to which the programme has delivered its intended outcomes, to understand how elements of programme delivery have either helped or hindered effective delivery, and to understand the relative financial costs of benefits of the programme.
Social Finance, a not-for-profit organisation that develops Social Impact Bonds (SIBs), has added theRTK Ltd to its Directory of SIB service providers. The directory provides details of providers currently offering support for Social Impact Bond development. Details can be found here: http://www.socialfinance.org.uk/directory-sib-service-providers
The Health Research Board of Ireland commissioned theRTK Ltd to conduct and disseminate two Rapid Evidence Assessments. The first related to the work of Drugs and Alcohol Task Forces (DATF) in the efficacy and effectiveness of prevention programmes delivered outside of school settings. The second review looked at research concerning community based drug intervention services. It can be viewed here. The reviews provided evidence to support stakeholders working on the implementation of selected actions under the Interim National Drugs Strategy (NDS) 2009-16 and facilitated evidence-based decisions on the selection, implementation and evaluation of interventions. The reports can be accessed here:
The College of Policing has contracted theRTK Ltd to conduct a Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) to review existing evidence on specialist police skills that will assist the College in setting out the skill requirements expected of officers at the skills threshold levels for the foundation tests and potential skills gaps. The College of Policing has been given the job of developing appropriate skills tests. Consistent with their objective of taking an evidence-based approach to establishing what works in policing, the College is commissioning the current review to identify current evidence on (i) the knowledge, skills, abilities and behaviours that are required for an experienced constable and special police constable to do their job effectively; and (ii) skill requirements and gaps in specialist roles in the police.
NHS Education for Scotland: We have worked with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT) and our strategic partners at Concentra to develop an on-line tool that enables local speech and language therapy (SLT) services to provide estimates of economic cost-benefit for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) interventions. The work includes an appraisal of existing methods of measuring cost benefits, cost consequences and cost effectiveness, making recommendations concerning effective measurement, and identifying data collection systems and processes that might be required to fill evidence gaps. A copy of the report can be found here.
Department of Energy and Climate Change: We were commissioned to deliver a review of existing evidence on how heating controls affect domestic energy demand. It synthesises evidence on five questions specified by the Department. We delivered our review according to the standards and procedures associated with Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) methods. We used transparent and reproducible search strategies to identify studies, and clearly specified methods to select, extract, quality appraise and synthesise the evidence. Our final report includes a narrative synthesis of all included studies, using themes to organise the results of the literature. A copy of the report can be found here:
and the technical appendices here:
Local Authority Children and Young People Directorate: we have worked to establish an effective data analytic capacity for our client. The results enable the authority to effectively commission services for their Sure Start Children’s Centres on a payment by results basis. We took an analytical view of data requirements, helping our client to understand what they need to measure, how to collect the data, and how to use it to improve quality and optimize service delivery for local children and their families.
Social Housing provider: We helped our client to get the most out of their performance management data. The results enable our client to create value by improving both the efficiency and effectiveness of their care and support services. The results enable them to provide service commissioners with clear evidence of how their services are a cost effective means of supporting their customers.
The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists: Our client is introducing a new package of quality assurance and service improvement initiatives. The RTK team is helping the client to identify, collect and analyse data that will enable them to assess the impact these new initiatives are having on service quality. We will leave the client with an effective data generation and collection process capable of generating robust evidence on service impact that will form the basis of a robust marketing campaign. A copy of our report can be found on the College website.
Government department: We are part of a consortium helping to evaluate the impact of a national policy initiative designed to support vulnerable people. We are feeding the results into the project management team in a way that enables them to adjust programme delivery to optimize impact and maximize cost effectiveness.