The St James Street Big Local Partnership is a community led partnership of local residents and business owners funded by the Big Lottery Foundation whose mission is to make their community and their area an even better place in which to live. Part of the St James Street Big Local Partnership’s Plan to achieving this is to reduce anti-social behaviour in the area. To assist with this work, IARS has been engaged to develop a coordinated plan to better address the specific issue of anti-social behaviour and youth gang related drug crime in the St James Street area.
There are a number of existing approaches already being deployed in area by police, the Waltham Forest Council via its Gang Prevention Programme Enough is Enough, the Youth Offending Team, schools and existing community organisations. The goal of this project is to assist the St James Street Big Local Partnership to better join up the dots between the work these different agencies are undertaking and create a more coordinated approach that also allows the local community to be involved in identifying solutions.
The project’s primary objectives are to:
a) Develop a youth and community led process to create a new strategy for all stakeholders to work together in a more coordinated joined up way to reduce anti-social behaviour and youth gang related drug crime around St James Street;
b) Advise on the resources available to implement this strategy so as to sustainably tackle the problem; and
c) Develop an evaluation framework to measure outcomes and demonstrate impact.
The project is broken down into three phases (see outline of project phases below). To achieve the project objectives, we used a combination of desk based research and qualitative consultations with a broad range of relevant stakeholders in line with IARS’ commitment to user-led research and ensuring that those affected by social issues are directly involved in the creation of solutions. In addition to involving local residents and community organisations in all phases of the project, the engagement of young people in mapping the issues at hand and identifying effective solutions is central to the project.
Phase 1: Desk Based Research
a) Map the extent of drug crime and youth gang involvement in the area.
b) Research and identify best practice delivery models for interventions aimed at tackling similar situations in other areas across the UK and internationally.
Phase 2: Consultation/Fieldwork
a) Establish a Community Stakeholders Committee of 10 members comprising of young people, their families and community members, which will meet quarterly, to provide user-led feedback on project outputs.
b) Conduct interviews and/or focus groups with key stakeholders to identify their needs and the underlying causes of the problem, including:
– Children and young people, and their families, involved in drug crime and gang related activities
– Key staff from local statutory agencies and voluntary and community organisations (e.g. Metropolitan Police, Silver Command Operation Team, Safer Neighbourhood Team, Children and Families Service, National Citizens Service, Leyton Orient Football Club etc.)
– Local residents and business owners
– Ward Councillors
c) Conduct interviews and/or focus groups with key service providers to map current resource capacity/service provision/response mechanisms/referral pathways, including:
– Key staff from local statutory agencies and voluntary and community organisations (e.g. Metropolitan Police, Silver Command Operation team, Safer Neighbourhood Team, Children and Families Service, National Citizens Service, Leyton Orient Football Club etc.)
– Ward Councillors
Phase 3: Develop a Strategy for Action
a) Hold modelling workshops attended by all stakeholders to develop a Theory of Change that identifies the inputs and outputs necessary to achieve the desired outcomes. These sessions will also be used to identify new mechanisms for cross-agency/stakeholder coordination, which may be necessary.
b) Develop a monitoring and evaluation framework and any necessary data collection tools that can be implemented by Big Local to measure outcomes and demonstrate impact.
Our St James Street Big Local project is based around a theory of change model, which we have created to ensure that the project has a positive impact on the local stakeholders.
The theory of change model has been constructed using key building blocks to bring about our long-term goal. It is reviewed regularly throughout the project, and it provides an outline for the connections between the project mission, strategies and actual outcomes, while creating links between who is being served, the strategies or activities that are being implemented and the desired outcomes. This theory of change is depicted as a “pathway of change framework”, a graphical representation of our progress:
Now that the phase 1 and 2 research have been completed, IARS will move into the delivery of phase 3, which focuses on developing a Strategy for Action. This phase of the research will be undertaken by holding modelling workshops (1-2) attended by all stakeholders to develop a Theory of Change that identifies the inputs and outputs necessary to achieve the desired outcomes.
These sessions will also be used to identify new mechanisms for cross-agency/stakeholder coordination, which may be necessary. As part of phase 3, IARS will also develop a monitoring and evaluation framework and any necessary data collection tools that can be implemented by Big Local to measure outcomes and demonstrate impact.
If you would like to get involved in the programme please contact email@example.com