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This report presents RAND Europe's analysis of data generated by the Vital Communities programme between October 2005 and August 2007. The Vital Communities programme provides creative and artistic activities for children, their families, and wider communities in nine locations across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. RAND Europe was asked to evaluate the available evidence and data from a rigorous and analytical point of view in order to examine the effects attributable to the Vital Communities programme. Furthermore, RAND Europe provided recommendations on how best to take forward the research element of Vital Communities. The study has been conducted retrospectively, as no new primary research was conducted, and thus the report relies instead on the considerable qualitative data generated by the programme and on an existing quantitative research study. Future recommendations highlighted a need to (1) expand the baseline analysis, (2) move from causal relations to associations, and (3) adopt effective data collection methods and ensure the cooperation of research participants.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    What impacts can Vital Communities claim?

  • Chapter Three

    Qualitative data about the Vital Communities programme

  • Chapter Four

    Future opportunities for research

  • Appendix A

    Evaluation forms

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was commissioned by the Vital Communities Partners and was conducted by RAND Europe.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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