The New Deal for Communities (NDC) Programme is a key part of the Government's strategy to tackle multiple deprivation in some of the most deprived neighbourhoods in the country. Thirty nine NDC Partnerships have been allocated a total of approximately £2bn with which to achieve transformational change over a ten year period. More information on the New Deal for Communities Programme here.
The national evaluation of NDC offers a unique opportunity to learn lessons about what works in neighbourhood renewal. By evaluating the programme on a national basis, the evaluation can draw together lessons from all the NDC Partnerships, look for common themes and experiences, and put together a valuable evidence base to inform effective policies for neighbourhood renewal throughout the country. The evaluation will examine the interventions and impacts of partnerships locally, and particularly in relation to the Programme's policy goals in the five key areas of health; education; worklessness; housing and the physical environment; and crime.
The evaluation has been conducted in two phases:
Phase 1 ran from 2002 to 2005 and culminated in the interim evaluation NRU Research Report 17: NDC Evaluation 2001-2005, available here.
Key findings from Phase 1 included:
- Residents are becoming more aware of, and positive towards, their local NDC Partnership: 80 per cent of local residents had heard of their NDC in 2004, an increase on 2002 of 16 percentage points; and of those who had heard of their NDC, more than half thought it had improved the area, an increase on 2002 of a full 18 percentage points.
- More than any other previous ABI, NDC Partnerships have made major efforts to engage with, and create benefits for, their black and minority ethnic (BME) communities. There is evidence that this approach is proving effective, and the largest positive increases between 2002 and 2004 in relation to feeling part of the community occurred amongst black people and those in the 'other' ethnic category.
- Partnerships have supported at least 800 projects that are designed to address directly the experience and fear of crime, and these have had an impact. For example, the fear of burglary fell by 10 percentage points between 2002 and 2004.
- As a result of interventions designed to reduce crime, refurbish poor housing and improve the local environment, residents are more positive about their neighbourhood: between 2002 and 2004 there was an increase of 14 percentage points in those thinking that their area had improved in the previous two years. Area satisfaction has improved at a greater rate in NDC areas compared with similarly deprived areas.
- Improving attitudes towards NDCs, the community, crime and the area have helped to stabilise populations. Some 45 percent of residents who said they would move in 2002 had changed their mind two years later and nearly a quarter of this group indicated that this decision had been affected by improvements to the area. Transformation of NDC neighbourhoods is more likely to occur if population churn is reduced and there is evidence that this is happening.
- By 2004 there was also evidence that changes were beginning to occur in relation to longer term outcomes: for example there were better outcomes in relation to unemployment for those staying in NDC areas than was occurring either nationally or in similarly deprived, non-NDC comparator areas.
Phase 2 runs from 2006 to 2009. This phase of the evaluation involves three key areas of activity:
- Evaluation of Programme impacts and outcomes.
- Exploration of the different approaches and activities undertaken by NDC Partnerships.
- And support for the local evaluation activities of NDC Partnerships.
These are explored more fully in this downloadable document How is the NDC Programme to be evaluated? (Word 175KB)