Updated resource guide for Local Economic Assessments

Understanding local factors in a local area’s economic development, how these have developed, how they’re predicted to develop, and which factors are (or have potential to be) particularly significant — will be essential in informing developing Local Enterpise Partnerships (LEPs) and economic strategies. Equally, the functional relationships between local areas is likely to become more important in policy-making.

With regions no longer the focus of evidence-gathering and policy-making, and an increased emphasis on local decision-making, Local Economic Assessments are an opportunity to focus the collection of evidence to understand the impact of new national policies and to develop local economic ‘stories of place.’

The intelligence in a Local Economic Assessment can also highlight where resources can most productively be targeted to improve local economic development.

To help Local Authorities prepare their Assessments, we’ve created a new web-based resource guide, building on an earlier version circulated in May. This addition to the Observatory’s resource catalogue signposts resources relevant to Local Economic Assessments produced by a range of organisations, as well as the Observatory’s own research.

The resources are grouped into six areas, based on the themes set out in LEA guidance published in March 2010. While that guidance is no longer statutory, it’s still a useful framework to draw on.

The themes you can search by are:

Within each theme, you can search for:

  • Data sources: datasets and primary research
  • Analysis: interpretation of data and other evidence in the West Midlands and local authorities
  • Guidance documents: examples and methodologies for you to follow if you wish
  • Other resources: examples of research from outside the West Midlands, and useful links to other websites and research networks

We hope you find this resource guide useful. You can be notified when new resources are added via this RSS feed or email alert. If you have resources you think others would find useful, please submit them to our Resource Catalogue (requires login) or contact stephen.howarth@wmro.org.

Speed dating: bringing the Regional Data & Intelligence Network together

Attendees at all-group networking eventLast Friday, for the first time in its history, we brought together all the groups associated with the Regional Data and Intelligence Network. Members of the Economy & Labour Force, Population & Society, Environment and Geographical Information groups met, with the aim of drawing the network closer together and identifying common areas of work.

Continue reading

Local Economic Assessments: resource guide for the West Midlands

It became compulsory for Strategic Local Authorities to produce Local Economic Assessments (LEAs) on 1st April 2010. LEAs are intended to bring together economic intelligence to inform a range of local and regional strategies.

One of these is the new Regional Integrated Strategy for the West Midlands.

The West Midlands Joint Strategy and Investment Board steering the regional strategy has agreed with Chief Executives that LEA input will be on a sub-regional basis.

The LEA summaries will be structured around a series of questions relating to regional issues set out in a sub-regional framework document (doc, 578kb) drafted by Advantage West Midlands and the West Midlands Leaders Board.

Continue reading

New report on innovation in a changing economy

BMW hams hall

In difficult economic times, firms need to adapt if they are going to survive. Innovation is particularly important at such times. However, as the economy changes to one increasingly dependent on services then so must our view of innovation.

One of the Observatory’s new State of the Region thematic reports, The Importance of Innovation in a Changing  Economy (PDF, 685kb), looks at how innovation can continue to drive change in the economy of the future.

Continue reading

Seminars at Herefordshire Information and Research Network

Herefordshire PartnershipThe Herefordshire Information and Research Network are hosting a series of seminars over 2009–2010.

Each seminar includes a presentation on a specific topic, updates by participants on their own research activities and opportunities for networking.

Seminars planned for later this year include the State of Herefordshire Report 2009 and results of the Herefordshire quality of life survey.

Continue reading

Influencing policy, driving change

Andy Phillips speaking at the conference

Andy Phillips, Head of Skills Research at the Observatory, in full flow

Andy Phillips and I ran a workshop last week at the Influencing Policy, Driving Change conference for the third sector. The event was jointly run by Regional Action West Midlands and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

As the title suggests, the purpose of the conference was to help equip the third sector (charities, social enterprises, and the voluntary and community sector) to influence policy effectively through campaigning, advocacy and providing innovative solutions to problems.

Continue reading

Got something useful you’d like to share?

As part of our strategic objectives, we aim to provide effective access to intelligence to encourage higher standards of evidence-​based decision-​making. One of the ways in which we do this is by providing a resource catalogue of research, data and intelligence about the West Midlands and its sub-regions.

The catalogue is built through contributions from Observatory staff and others around the region who want to share research that they’ve produced or found useful themselves. However, we recognise that sometimes people don’t have the time to complete a full submission to the catalogue, so we’ve introduced a new quick recommend a resource form.

All you need to enter on the recommend a resource form is the title of the resource and URL where it is located, along with your email address in case we need to contact you with any queries about it.

Continue reading