Cambridge Economic Associates have been working with neighbourhood managers for several years to explore the feasibility of measuring public service performance at a neighbourhood level. This report explains that there was virtually no interest in neighbourhood data prior to the advent of local area agreements and it describes why this level of data is vitally important for developing initiatives that seek to turn around deprived neighbourhoods by tackling problems such as crime and anti-social behaviour, poor environmental quality, worklessness, ill health, and low levels of educational attainment.
The toolkit helps to identify information on the benefits and costs new approaches to service delivery which can be used to make the case for change. It emphasises the importance of gathering and using data as part of an ongoing process of monitoring and evaluation. The Overview Module explains why service data matters. The key message promoted by the toolkit is to look widely for evidence on what works.