Evaluating Local Conversations 2019: Supporting collective control to reduce health inequalities

11 December 2019

This report is a summary report of the second year of a four-year evaluation exploring the impact of the Trust's Local Conversations programme. The Trust is working with New Economics Foundation (NEF) to carry out the evaluation.

This summary report details the evidence from the first two years of the evaluation. Research included detailed qualitative case studies with four Local Conversations across Great Britain, surveys of the anchor organisations leading the process and of the residents participating locally, as well as peer research and self-evaluation that all contributed to the findings.

Overall, the evaluation has found that the programme has created a number of important improvements in the neighbourhoods involved. As a result of coming together through action, social connections both within and between groups of people have improved. This has supported feelings of control to increase from the collective activity and bonds created, especially for those most closely involved. 81% of residents participating in Local Conversations feel that ‘when people in this area get involved in their community, they can really change the way that their area is run’, compared with an England average of 50%.

These are important findings which are known through existing research to have a major effect on health outcomes.

To read the summary report, click here.

Next steps

We will be publishing the third year’s evaluation findings in spring 2020, which have a greater focus on the collective impact of Local Conversations on the wider neighbourhood. The next report will explore how Local Conversations are now starting to build on their sense of collective control to influence local systems. Ultimately, Local Conversations are aiming to build partnerships that can address relevant social determinants of health for people locally, improve their quality of life and start to challenge the health inequalities they experience.

To read more reports from the Trust, click here.

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