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Social Research

'Let’s start assessing not assuming': Approaches to tackling social inclusion within Welsh local authorities

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  • Release date: 26 October 2013
This report presents the findings of a baseline study into social isolation and loneliness in Wales.

It examines how policies and services address the issues and makes recommendations for future improvements.

It demonstrates that, while some progress is being made, there is still significant potential for improvement. Three descriptive case studies are presented to explore some issues in more depth; these are examples of projects which most closely fit the characteristics of effective interventions as described in the academic literature. Finally, five recommendations are laid out for future work.

The report finds and recommends

  • There needs to be a more consistent approach to evaluation of local authority (and other) activities aimed at tackling social isolation, supported by guidance from Welsh Government.
    •Initiatives targeting social isolation need to be clear about which aspects they are tackling and how they will go about this.
  • The design of new initiatives to tackle social isolation, or indeed policies or initiatives that are relevant to the issue of social isolation, should consider or embody the principal characteristics associated with effectiveness.
  • Recognition of the complexity of the problem of social isolation is important – policies and initiatives which aim to address social isolation should be realistic about the sorts of impacts they can achieve and how much the end state will differ from the baseline.
  • There is an important role for the ESVG Programme in disseminating these messages, to ensure better understanding of social isolation and loneliness is embedded in public services and national government policy.


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