NEF conducted research in several Local Conversations areas and analysed in-depth case studies from project visits to evaluate the impact of the programme. The report identified several positive impacts in the early development of the Local Conversations, as well as some challenges impacts the areas involved.
The findings highlighted some useful recommendations for us to carry forward, and the report also provided us with a baseline to measure progress that the Local Conversation projects are having in their neighbourhoods.
Early outcomes demonstrated a positive impact around tackling some social determinants of health such as social connectedness, collective control, and knowledge and skills. People have built new relationships and strong foundations to continue developing local change.
The report also explored the complexities around the Local Conversations programme and the areas in which projects have faced challenges and potential future challenges. Case study analysis looks further into these frustrations for programme leaders and participants.
“Sometimes, you’ve got all the same people going to the events. And sometimes you see the same people going to the community groups because you’ve got the time and you’re committed. It’s not a clique, but we need to broaden out."
About the evaluation
New Economics Foundation independently evaluated the Local Conversations programme’s theory of change and its impact from 2016 to 2021. This foundational Local Conversations evaluation was published in November 2016.