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Data use in voluntary and community organisations

Tom MacInnes and Peter Kenway, New Policy Institute

6 February 2009

This study assesses the need and demand within voluntary and community organisations (VCOs) for relevant, analysed and well-presented data to support their work tackling poverty.

The poverty agenda has shifted away from ‘top-down’ action by central government towards the engagement of local voluntary and community organisations. As small, independent groups with their own ideas about tackling poverty, VCOs represent a powerful, ‘bottom-up’ approach.

Financial support for VCOs increasingly depends on evidence of need and success against outcomes. This report considers:

  • how VCOs use data to support their work;
  • what data VCOs find most useful;
  • what obstacles there are to accessing data.

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