Multiple disadvantage

We are a leading provider of research and evaluation relating to people experiencing multiple disadvantage, i.e. three or more of: homelessness, substance misuse, mental health issues, domestic abuse, and contact with the criminal justice system.

This includes delivering high-profile national evaluations. We are part of a consortium delivering the evaluation the Changing Futures programme, funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the National Lottery Community Fund to test innovative approaches to promoting systems change and improving outcomes for people experiencing multiple disadvantage in 15 areas across England from 2021 to 2025. We were also the national evaluators for a five-year evaluation of the MEAM Approach, a non-prescriptive framework currently used by over 40 local partnerships in England to help them to design and deliver better services and systems for and with people experiencing multiple disadvantage. It also includes providing evaluation of local programmes and initiatives, such as the seven-year evaluation of Blackpool Fulfilling Lives, the three-year evaluation of Norwich’s work using the MEAM Approach, and the two-year evaluation of the Amber programme for the Youth Futures Foundation.

Developing more meaningful and effective co-production with people with lived experience is an important focus of many programmes to improve support and outcomes for people experiencing multiple disadvantage. We seek to build this co-production into our evaluation approaches through training and working with groups of researchers with lived experience to develop and deliver aspects of the evaluation.

Our multiple disadvantage expertise is also valuable in research, evaluation and consultancy in our other key sectors. For example, it helps us to maintain a focus on people who might be most disadvantaged by the prevailing structures and systems in which public, voluntary and independent sector funders, commissioners and service providers are operating and aiming to make a positive difference.

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