Participle’s ambition was audacious: we wanted to bring about real change in people’s lives as well as sustained change within the welfare system. Our innovation projects grounded in Beveridge 4.0 principles are continuing to influence the health and social care system around them. Our Life work in Wigan underpins The Deal for adult social care, and influences the Stronger Together corporate values in Swindon, placing relationships and capabilities at the heart of their approach. Circle’s work in Nottingham and Rochdale is shaping a new approach to ageing, starting deliberately early and pooling resources (personal, private and public) through an offer which has a significantly different look and feel. The power of our work, which releases the resource of people, communities and their relationships, continues to inspire others both in the UK and across the world.
We have learnt that no that no matter how strong the will for change, or the power of the rhetoric behind a transformative approach, it will ultimately fail unless the metrics are aligned to the new era. The need to grow and develop people’s capabilities might be understood, yet if the success of a service remains determined on by system focused outcomes, rather than capabilities grown; or certain costs are saved rather than resources unlocked then that service will be forced to continue to deliver in old ways and deep meaningful change will not be realised.
Participle was at the forefront internationally of measuring capability growth at a personal level as well as understanding the wider systemic measures of success that are needed to fully embed a capability approach across public services.
You can read more on the impact each of our services has made on the individual pages under "Our Work" here on this site, as well as being able to download various data and evaluation reports demonstrating this impact.
We designed a simple, but effective measurement framework which consisted of 3 distinct parts: capability growth, outcomes and cost saving data.
Underpinning our work was a vision of the future of public services based on the fostering of capabilities – those things that every citizen needs to flourish in the 21st century. Our Health and Ageing projects offer interesting examples of the kinds of capabilities data we collected.
In order to deliver our mission we were also pragmatic and knew it was important that our work could be measured and compared with standardised outcome measures used by existing public service providers. We therefore supplemented our capabilities data with core outcomes data. To take the Life Programme as an example [link to Life section], we collected data based on 6 categories: education, ASB and crime, employment, safeguarding, housing and health.
Modelling cost saving data
Participle took a business like approach to all aspects of our work and partners consistently told us our services saved them money. Throughout our work therefore we collected data to show cost savings to the public purse which we compute as: preventative spend (Circles’ reducing hospital readmissions); better value spend (the possibility of more people benefitting from an existing service spend) and cash savings achieved through removing the need for a previous public service (for example reducing the need for core assessments).
By adopting this tripartite measurement framework whilst developing and delivering our work, Participle has been able to show the impact our services have made at both an individual level (through capability growth, numbers of relationships formed…) and at a system level (through cost savings and outcomes data).