Evaluating “value for money” in Essex

Tackling sensitive local subjects

Sometimes issues crop up which require careful planning and a sensitive touch if the client is to derive the maximum benefit from any research.

This was certainly the case when Essex County Council asked Qa to conduct research with members of the Essex Citizens’ Panel to determine what constitutes “value for money”.

Deciding which methodology to choose

The decision to carry out qualitative research through focus groups was made after careful consideration of the best ways to establish residents’ views on the following areas:

  • What they expect from services
  • What value for money would look like to them
  • How they would like information on value for money presented
  • How they make decisions on whether something is value for money or not

Improving communication between residents and the council

Since value for money is high on the agenda in Essex, understanding what the concept means to different groups of residents could have a beneficial impact on public policy development.

Following the research Essex County Council is now considering new ways to improve how it communicates the value for money provided by a given service or product to residents.

For more details e-mail becki.jarvis@qaresearch.co.uk or call 01904 632039