ADR UK and Home Office seek academic(s) to conduct feasibility study using new MoJ-DfE linked dataset

About the project

Since 2014/15 there has been a sustained increase in serious violence offences in England and Wales. As a result of efforts to improve the availability of robust evidence to establish what works in early intervention to prevent violence in England and Wales, a total of £200 million has been granted to the Youth Endowment Fund (YEF) over the next 10 years.

Evaluation of what works to prevent youth offending is key to YEF, for which a reduction in proven violent offending is the primary long-term goal. The MoJ/DfE linked dataset – the result of a data sharing agreement between the MoJ and DfE in September 2019 (not funded by ADR UK) – is the perfect tool for measuring both short- and long-term outcomes for YEF and other early interventions for violence and crime preventions (e.g. the Early Intervention Youth Fund and Violence Reduction Units). Similar matching was done in 2015 and was used to produce a report on educational backgrounds of young offenders.

For YEF and other early intervention funds to be spent most effectively and to fill the gap in the evidence base, the Home Office aims to develop a consistent evaluation method that allows robust measurement and comparison of the effectiveness of different interventions. This feasibility study will help to identify the best approach to measuring outcomes for the YEF and other early interventions.

The study, commissioned by ADR UK on behalf of Home Office Analysis and Insight (Crime and Policing Analysis), will assess the feasibility of using the new MoJ/DfE linked dataset for evaluation of early interventions for violence/crime prevention. More specifically, the study will explore how well the dataset can be used to create robust matched control groups.

You can find out more about the project on the dedicated project page.

About the role

The researcher(s) will be expected to:

  • Liaise with analysts from DfE and MoJ to develop a detailed assessment of data reliability and a metadata dictionary that would be available to anyone accessing the dataset via the ONS Secure Research Service and the Justice Micro Data Lab
  • Use statistical modelling techniques (e.g. regressions) to assess which variables are predictive of crime (outcome variable)
  • Use variables in the dataset to create matched control groups using Propensity Score Matching
  • Recommend a standardised method for future use and/or next steps to improve the quality of control groups (e.g. linking of another dataset)
  • Write a report summarising all the activities undertaken and described below, recommendations and guides for future use of the dataset

The Home Office is open to alternative methodological proposals relating to the development of control groups and encourage innovative and robust approaches.

The work will commence end of February/beginning of March 2020 and we expect the analysis to take approximately four months. Please note that data access approval and accreditation processes will also form part of the project, hence the project from its inception to its end will take approximately five to six months. The Home Office expects the successful applicant(s) to be closely involved in the approval process. This should be considered by applicants in their proposed budget.

As there is no hard deadline on the data being ready for analysis and no confirmed timings for data access approval processes, applicants should note that a degree of flexibility in terms of start dates will be expected.

Working arrangements

You can be based anywhere in the UK, however, working remotely will be subject to Office for National Statistics (ONS) accreditation. You could also work from one of the ONS ‘Safe Settings’: physical labs in London, Newport (South Wales), Titchfield, Belfast and Glasgow. You will be required to attend six meetings in London and establish and maintain close working relationships with the Home Office and ADR UK via fortnightly phone calls and regular email correspondence.

More information and instructions for applying

You can find out more about the opportunity in the full grant specification, including instructions on how to apply. As part of the application, a costings template must also be completed.

The deadline for applications is 24 January 2020. Please send applications as detailed in the full job specification to hub@adruk.org and title your email ‘Home Office/ADR UK Feasibility Study’ when submitting your application.

Files

Full grant specification.

Costings template.

Enquires relating to the application process and the role should be addressed to:

  • Karen Powell, Senior Strategic Research and Impact Manager, ADR UK
  • Email: Karen.powell@esrc.ukri.org or hub@adruk.org
  • Telephone: 01793 759087 or 07584 113587

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