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Asking the right questions about what works better

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As we have mentioned many times in this blog, the evaluation evidence on what works for local economic growth is often not as extensive and conclusive as we would like it to be.

In our employment training review, for example, we were able to present some level of detail – in-firm, on-the-job programmes outperformed classroom-based ones; short training courses may be more cost-effective than longer ones. But we know there is more to be said about the questions people ask when designing specific interventions. Anyone looking to develop an effective employment training programme will not only want to know about the costs and benefits of short and long-term approaches, but may also want to know about the selection of participants, about how they are assigned to a specific training programme, how they are supported during their training, etc.

To answer these questions, we need to dig down further in to the literature on policy design. We are currently in the process of doing this, with a particular focus on employment training and business support. To help us draw out the most relevant policy design lessons from the huge range of literature available, we want to hear from you about the questions you would ask when designing these kind of programmes. What are the central questions that you would like to see answered?

Get in touch via or post a comment below to let us know what evidence would help you most in designing your employment training and business support. We will then be tackling other policy areas in the months to come.