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Our free training is designed for people in local policymaking – in local authorities, Combined Authorities and LEPs – who are developing policy, bidding for funds, delivering projects, or managing evaluations.  

We design our training to be practical, using real-life examples and activities from economic development, as we know local policymakers have little spare time.

Recurring training

The below sessions are run on a semi-regular basis.

Our courses count towards the formal CPD requirement of members of the Institute of Economic Development.

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Understanding how local economies work

A 2.5 hour practical workshop designed to help people working in local economic growth to understand key economic concepts and how they play out in their local areas.

Do you know your additionality from your externalities? How do you know if an issue in the local economy is supply side or demand side? And what can GVA tell you (or not) about the local economy?

This training is an introduction to some of the economic concepts within local economic growth. The training includes a number of practical exercises to see how these concepts play out in real-life scenarios.

Understanding data on local economic growth

This practical workshop for people working in local and central government covers how to draw insights from available data to better understand the local economy. 

How is your area performing on GVA, productivity and income? Which datasets should you use, and what can you learn from them about the performance of your local economy?  

This training focuses on diagnosing strengths and weaknesses in local economic performance. It includes a number of practical exercises to see how these concepts play out in real-life scenarios.

Making use of logic models

A short workshop to help people working in local economic growth use logic models more effectively at every stage. Whether shortlisting projects, agreeing target deliverables for a bid, presenting to decision makers, or conducting reviews, logic models can help provide a useful structure for your thinking. 

Making use of logic models is delivered as a 2.5 hr workshop with plenty of practical activities.

This workshop makes it easier to clarify outputs and outcomes, develop a logic model for a project, and gives confidence to probe each step of the process.

Live learning follow up: this session is for people who have previously attended Making use of logic models but aren’t confident about putting the workshop into practice. Using a live project example, the session will work through advice using many of the key questions from the training to refresh your knowledge.

How to evaluate

Understanding impact evaluation

An introduction to evaluation, this course supports policy makers who may be developing a M&E plan, considering running a trial, looking to commission a consultant to evaluate a project’s impact, or want to understand the findings from previous impact evaluations. 

Understanding impact evaluation is delivered as a day-long course in person, or across four shorter sessions online. 

This course focuses on impact evaluation – where we use a counterfactual to understand what impact your project or programme had on participants. For example, an impact evaluation could clarify whether a business support programme helped participating businesses grow turnover or employment – or if that would have happened anyway.

Developing good evaluation questions

A short workshop designed to help policy makers develop good evaluation questions.

Evaluation is essential to understanding what difference policies and programmes are making, whether they are a good use of resources, and what can be learned from how they are delivered. However, many evaluations fail to deliver on expectations, limiting learning and accountability. Having clarity about the questions you are trying to answer can help improve the quality of your evaluations.

This workshop provides advice on how evaluation can support the work of local policy and delivery teams, and to develop good evaluation questions.

How to use evidence

Making use of evidence

A two-hour workshop to help people working in local economic growth think assess and use evidence more effectively at every stage of project development. There is an ever-growing amount of evidence at people’s fingertips, but that doesn’t mean it’s all useful.

Making use of evidence is delivered as a short introductory workshop with plenty of practical activities.

This workshop makes it easier to understand how to use evidence in policymaking and the role of questioning evidence. Attendees will also be able to make the case to others about why and how evidence is valuable for project delivery, and gives confidence to probe evidence as to whether it’s useful and good quality.

Lunch and Learn

Aimed at local economic development teams who are pressed for time, our 45-minute Lunch and Learn sessions introduce the evidence on an economic development policy, highlight the key issues to consider, and include plenty of time for participants to ask questions about how best to apply this in their local area.

Previous series of Lunch and Learn have focused on transport, employment training, business support, innovation and apprenticeships.

Bespoke training

As well as offering ‘open sessions’, we can also offer each of these workshops and courses as an in-house session for up to 30 individuals for a single local government organisation or a small group of partner organisations. In-house courses can be customised to your specific areas of policy interest and are free.