The Welsh Government published a report on the 22nd November 2019 produced by a Wavehill team of researchers that highlighted findings from an evaluation of the Flexible Funding programme. The Flexible Funding approach was instigated by the Welsh Government to ensure 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 was 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. An interim report was published in October 2018.
The key findings in the final report include:
Local authorities and stakeholders
Progress in the delivery of the Flexible Funding approach is most notable in the:
Improved knowledge and awareness of Children and Communities Grant (CCG) and Housing and Support Grant (HSG) aims, objectives and nature of delivery, with new single HSG guidance, needs assessment and strategic planning approaches being exemplars
Increasing examples of, and discussion surrounding the opportunities for, joint working or engagement across grants
The recommissioning and new service development being undertaken, despite contractual and financial barriers to some recommissioning
Benefits reported in supporting service users more quickly both in entry and in exit with a more joined-up service offer.
The strongest examples of progress are underpinned by a clear vision, detailed design and planning activities that establish a local delivery model centred on transformational leadership and accountability.
Welsh Government programme leads want greater clarity as to the aims of Flexible Funding within Welsh Government, the roles performed by individual programme teams and how this is communicated externally.
Welsh Government officials (including those in the Funding Alignment team) identify challenges with the coordination and communication of consistent messages regarding how each programme should operate within CCG and HSG.
The HSG has made some particularly positive progress in the development of its guidance documentation co-produced with a range of external stakeholders.
The report also makes recommendations on future monitoring and evaluation work and provides further detail on an outcomes framework for Flexible Funding.
Copies of the report are available at:
English - https://gov.wales/evaluation-flexible-funding-programme-final-report
Cymru - https://llyw.cymru/gwerthusor-rhaglen-ariannu-hyblyg-adroddiad-terfynol
Who to contact for further information: Simon Tanner firstname.lastname@example.org