Update on Single Outcome Agreements and Statistical Capacity Building by wiv75295


									                              ScotStat Board – 12 May 2009

   Paper B - Update on Single Outcome Agreements and Statistical Capacity Building
                   across Local Authorities and other Public Bodies

1. Background

1.1.   At the last ScotStat Board meeting the requirement of more training and guidance in
       the use of statistics across local authorities was discussed, particularly in relation to
       Single Outcome Agreements. The purpose of this paper is to provide an update on
       both Single Outcome Agreements and on supporting local authorities since then.

2. Single Outcome Agreements

2.1.   Councils submitted draft 2009/10 SOAs to the Scottish Government at the end of
       February 2009. Every council has a SG Director to liaise with on SOA issues. The
       SG Directors have support teams, which include SG analysts. SG Directors and their
       support teams have been working with councils to develop the 2009/10 SOAs for
       final submission to the Scottish Government on 15 May 2009.

2.2.   On the analytical side, OCS co-ordinated an exercise to evaluate the indicators
       included in the draft 2009/10 SOAs. Advice on indicators was prepared for all
       Councils, to be fed back through SG Directors and their support teams, highlighting
       the preferred sources to use, gaps in coverage, achievability of targets, below/above
       the waterline issues, etc. This work has been the main focus of the SOA Analysts
       Network, which is an internal SG working group set up in September 2008.

2.3.   The next phases of work for the group will be around the SOA reporting in Autumn
        2009 and the Improving Local Indicators Project (see below).

3. Improving Access to Data

3.1.   All statistics branches across Scottish Government are being required to add a “Data
       Sources and Suitability” section to their website focussing initially on the availability
       of data at a local authority level and its suitability for use in performance monitoring.
       The information contained in these websites is being drawn together in an Index of
       Data Sources and Suitability. The majority of statistics branches have set up their
       web sections and the index is beginning to be populated but there is still a lot of
       work to do.

3.2.   A new Local Outcome Indicator Report was added to the Scottish Neighbourhood
       Statistics site in February 2009 which has increased the ease with which users can
       access the indicators from the Improvement Service‟s Menu of Local Indicators.

4. Improving Local Indicators Project

4.1.   OCS has been working closely with the Improvement Service and other key partners
       on the SOLACE led “Improving Local Indicators” Project. The project is focussed
       on improving the quality of indicators (from a variety of sources including the
       current menu, good locally developed indicators, SG informed choices etc). A
       project board and co-ordination group have been established with representatives
       from Scottish Government and a variety of public bodies on both.

4.2.   The first phase of the project is the production of status reports for all policy areas
        and metadata for all indicators and these are currently being finalised.

4.3.   When complete the status reports will be discussed at the next meeting of the most
       relevant ScotStat Committee and will be circulated to all ScotStat registered users
       who have indicated an interest in related areas.

4.4.   A programme of consultation events and opportunities for all interested parties to
       engage in the project over the summer is being planned. There is likely to be two
       one-day conferences in June or July at which representatives from central and local
       government and other key partners will be given the opportunity to discuss local
       indicators and data availability. These large scale events will be supplemented with
       smaller workshops and meetings to discuss finer details.

4.5.   These discussions will inform Version 4 of the Improvement Service‟s Menu of
        Indicators due to be published in October, and subsequent development work to fill
        gaps in appropriate data.

5. ScotStat Network of Analysts from Local Government and Other Public Bodies

5.1.   This network was established following endorsement at the last ScotStat Board
        meeting. The network now has over 100 members from a variety of local authorities
        and public bodies. Seven workshops have been run or are arranged, on a variety of
        cross-cutting and methodological subjects including „Conducting and Analysing
        Surveys‟, „Measuring Change and Monitoring Targets‟, „Collecting Equalities Data‟,
        „Scottish Neighbourhood Statistics‟ and „Contribution Analysis‟. The feedback from
        the workshops is very positive.

5.2.   One working group of the network has been established to look at the availability and
       suitability of analytical guidance materials. Another working group to develop
       guidance on collecting equalities data within council services is being discussed.

5.3.   Network activities are planned and organised so as to join-up with or compliment
       other capacity-building activities both within and outwith Scottish Government such
       as other ScotStat activities, LARCI initiatives, the LARIA annual conference in
       Scotland, and events held by Learning Networks.

Statistical Support for Public Bodies
Office of the Chief Statistician
May 2009


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