Dr Lisa Scullion and Dr Mark Wilding are leading an evaluation for Oxfam Wales and the DWP of their innovative Livelihoods Training Project. The overall aim of the Livelihoods Project is to embed understandings of poverty within the DWP service across Wales, to enable DWP staff to better understand the needs of service users, and consequently be better placed to provide appropriate support and solutions to meet their needs. It is hoped that this more personalised approach will reduce the need for sanctions and improve outcomes in terms of sustainable employment.
Lisa and Mark will be leading a mixed methods evaluation over a 12 month period involving analysis of existing project data, surveys of staff and service users and qualitative case studies in selected geographical areas. The evaluation sits within SHUSUs dedicated Work and Welfare work stream, and builds on Lisa’s involvement in a large ESRC funded project focusing on Welfare Conditionality. Lisa said:
“This represents an exciting new partnership for SHUSU but is also a recognition not only of our expertise in relation to evaluation methods, but also our expertise in relation to welfare reform and the evolving welfare agenda. The Welfare Conditionality project has found that the support provided to benefit claimants is often very limited and unable to meet the varied and sometimes complex needs of some claimants. We are therefore really pleased to be involved in a project that aims to improve the experiences of claimants”.