• Simon Tanner, Oliver Allies, Louise Starks

Evaluation of the Flexible Funding programme

The Welsh Government published an interim report produced by a Wavehill team of researchers that highlighted early findings from an evaluation of the Flexible Funding programme. The Flexible Funding programme is the latest approach by the Welsh Government to ensuring that different grants work together with the aim of providing greater local authority autonomy in service delivery, particularly around joint planning and commissioning to better support outcomes for vulnerable groups. This extra freedom aims to allow for a more strategic approach in delivering early intervention, prevention and support (EIPS) across Wales.

The aim of the evaluation work is to provide robust and timely information on programme implementation and to understand how its delivery will affect the achievement of outcomes for early intervention in the longer term. Our early findings do show that some positive developments in programme delivery with common themes being:

  1. it is still early in the day for programme implementation; review activities dominate, and business cases are still being created to help drive implementation forward.

  2. progress is most commonly linked to an existing ‘framework’ or a process for delivery of the programme agenda.

  3. several local authorities already demonstrate joint working including some ‘flexibility’ in the use of funding. Yet many local authority approaches to using flexibility in funding are ‘non-strategic’.

  4. a range of early delivery approaches have mainly focussed on bringing people together, facilitating ‘new’ conversations, reviewing and assessing the service user journey. Some have also found that the current programme management infrastructure (IT) doesn’t provide the right information on service users’ experiences.

  5. many early approaches predate the operation of the different programmes demonstrating an underlying ‘legacy’ of joint working. Alignment is most pronounced in local authorities in both housing-related support services and non-housing-related areas in particular grants - Families First, Flying Start, Legacy Fund and Supporting People.

The final phase of evaluation work building on the interim findings is due to begin in early 2019.

Further information on the report and its background can be found at:


Whilst the written statement linked to the evaluation findings is here:


For further information please contact Simon.Tanner@wavehill.com