Data Labs - Our Data Labs project aims to open up government administrative data to the social sector. NPC

Data Labs

Our Data Labs project aims to open up government administrative data to the social sector. That way, charities, funders, government bodies and social enterprises can better understand the impact of their services on beneficiaries.

How does it work?

Charities, funders, social enterprises, public sector interventions all need to understand the impact of their work. Doing so means they can maximise the good they do, and minimise any harm.

But often, they have no way to know the long-term impact they have on people’s lives—whether their work changed the course of a person’s life in the long term.

Our Data Lab project is designed to do just that. By comparing the journeys of their beneficiaries to the journeys of those who are similar to them, a Data Lab can help organisations answer the question: did we make a difference?

NPC is proud to be one of the actors that stimulated the development of Data Labs.

Data labs are innovative because they help charities overcome the following barriers to rigorous evaluation:

  • They allow charities access to government data that would otherwise be inaccessible
  • They put expert government statisticians to work on charity data
  • They use a clever approach called Propensity Score Matching to compare those who benefited from the intervention to those who didn’t

Check out this recent example of an evaluation of an employment programme for young people, produced by DWP.

Justice Data Lab

The Justice Data Lab is a pioneering and award winning service run by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and gives organisations working with offenders access to re-offending data.

The information provided helps organisations to assess the impact of their work on reducing re-offending and also helps develop an understanding of effective rehabilitation.

The Justice Data Lab was launched as a pilot in 2013, and confirmed as a permanent service in 2015.

The Justice Data Lab FAQs

Lady Justice

Employment Data Lab

We supported the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to develop its analytical service that supports organisations to measure the impact of services on helping people to achieve employment outcomes. This was launched in November 2022.

employment handsake

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