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Never Just a Number: Evaluating the impact of a holistic approach to UK poverty
Ellie Benton, Laura Lane, Anne Power and Bert Provan October 2018
Paper No' CASEreport 118:
Full Paper (pdf)

Tags: debt; poverty; cap; holistic

The core aim of the research is to show the social value of CAP’s work in tackling poverty and related problems of debt, joblessness, dependency, and low capacity. The evaluation covers the four main strands of CAP’s approach to helping people: Debt Advice Centres; back to work Job Clubs; programmes tackling low-grade dependencies through Fresh Start groups; and Life Skills groups, which help people to develop capacity to manage on low incomes. In order to understand CAP’s approach and working method in helping people to escape poverty and indebtedness, LSE interviewed Debt Centre Managers, clients, volunteers, and HQ staff.

A further aim of the research is to propose a headline Social Return on Investment (SROI) figure for each of the frontline services; provide an overall headline SROI figure for the charity as a whole; and develop an estimate of the wider societal cost of debt, unemployment, addiction and poor life skills. It then becomes possible to show the savings to society brought about through CAP’s intervention, assessing the outcomes for service users following intervention. LSE Housing and Communities aims to apply a theory of change to the work of CAP, identifying core principles, tools and hoped for outcomes.