Endorsement of our Economic Inclusion research

Here’s a short video featuring Trudi Elliott, Chair of the West Midlands Economic Inclusion Panel, endorsing our economic inclusion research:

Watch on viddler

The State of Herefordshire Report 2010 – Seminar

Are you interested in the latest facts & figures about Herefordshire? Do you want to know what the county’s strengths and weaknesses are and what threats and opportunities there are?

If so you may be interested in a seminar organised by the Herefordshire Information & Research Network (HIRN) looking at The State of Herefordshire Report 2010 .

The report pulls together contextual information alongside performance indicators to give an overall picture of what is happening in Herefordshire under the broad themes:

  • Population
  • Economic Development and Enterprise (Local Economic Assessment)
  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Children and Young People
  • Environment
  • Safer Communities
  • Stronger Communities

Max Bassett and Clem Attwood (Herefordshire Partnership Research Team) will be presenting on the on the report on Tuesday 14th December (9.30am) at the Town Hall, Hereford.

If you would like to attend please contact Clement Attwood on 01432 260893 or cattwood@herefordshire.gov.uk

Policy Assessment Model (PAM)

There has always been a need for policy to be grounded in evidence, but at a time when money is becoming tighter across the public sector, that need becomes even greater. Resources must be targeted where they can make the most difference. Gaining understanding of the future impact of policy decisions is therefore invaluable.

Past experience and local knowledge can provide some of that understanding, but it can’t tell us everything about the future. That is where tools like the Observatory’s Policy Assessment Model (PAM) come in.

This short slidecast explains why the Policy Assessment Model (PAM) was developed, how it works and how it can be used.

View on viddler | Get slides (ppt,  651kb)

The Policy Assessment Model goes beyond standard forecasting tools (although it will produce forecasts). It allows the direct and indirect impacts of a wide range of policy options and scenarios to be modelled over the long-term, allowing more informed decisions. It is capable of modelling impacts on the economy, the population and the local authorities within the West Midlands.

West Midlands ‘output gap’ has risen to £15bn

State of the Region 2009The West Midlands’ economy is less productive than the national average, and the gap is growing, according to new research released by the West Midlands Regional Observatory.

In the 2009 ‘State of the Region’ report, the Observatory has revealed that compared to the UK average, the economic output gap of the West Midlands – caused by the region’s lower economic output per head of population – has risen from a figure of £10 billion in 2005 to a current estimate of £15 billion.
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Crowdsourcing policy, visualising debate and evolving consultation

LocalGovCamp an unconference for local governmentI attended a session on crowdsourcing public policy at the recent LocalGovCamp event, an unconference for local government held in Birmingham.

Crowdsourcing is the act of taking a task traditionally performed by employees or contractors and opening it out to a large group of people. It’s mass collaboration to collectively achieve a task or refine something that already exists into something better.

David Price led an interesting session on crowdsourcing policy, demonstrating how Debategraph—a global debate map—can be used to:

  • Set up a policy debate
  • Open the debate to enable others to collaborate
  • Graphically visualise the issues and inter-relationships within a debate
  • Share and re-use the debates both on and offline

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Evidence based climate change policy: six tricky challenges

Roger LevettRoger Levett of Levett-Therivel sustainability consultants led the presentations at the Observatory’s State of the Region Climate Change event. Roger laid down six tricky challenges to delegates.

He stressed that the evidence is already overwhelming that unless we cut greenhouse emissions deeply, fast, soon, irreversible catastrophic climate change will almost certainly become unpreventable. Delaying action to improve the evidence is no longer necessary.

Roger was also keen to lay down challenges to the Observatory in how we present and use the data to influence policy makers in the region. How we tackle these challenges will be key to the development of the State of the Region dialogue.

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Climate change dialogue underway

Discussion at the eventWe had so much interest in our new State of the Region dialogue on climate change on Monday, that we had to move it to a bigger venue!

The dialogue got off to a great start, and there seemed to be real concensus amongst the forty or so delegates on how to progress some of the issues raised.

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