To ask Her Majesty's Government what was the cost of evaluating the Troubled Families Programme for their (1) National evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme 2015 to 2020: early findings, published in April 2017; (2) National evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme 2015 to 2020: emerging findings, published in December 2017; (3) National evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme 2015 to 2020: interim findings, published in March 2018; and (4) National evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme 2015–2020: Findings, published in March 2019, reports.
The national evaluation of the Troubled Families Programme 2015-2020 publishes findings on a regular basis as new evidence becomes available. This means that the latest evidence can be used to inform the programme design on an ongoing basis. The publications referred to in the question are all part of a single evaluation project and therefore it is difficult to estimate the costs for each publication. The total spend on external evaluation contracts is £3,985,942, roughly 0.4% of the programme’s total budget. This includes data matching, case study research, longitudinal staff surveys, a longitudinal family survey and a cost benefit analysis for the programme. This does not include internal staff time which is difficult to estimate.
The evaluation has been pioneering in its use of data, matching data from four government departments with local data to provide a deep understanding of the lives of families with multiple complex needs. This is the first time this has been done and as far as we are aware, is the biggest data linking exercise in government.
The robust evaluation has been vital in demonstrating the impact of the programme and making the case for its continuation.