Data use in voluntary and community organisations

Tom MacInnes and Peter Kenway, New Policy Institute
6th Feb 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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