The ‘Universal Support – delivered locally’ trials ran in 11 areas of Great Britain between September 2014 and August/ November 2015. The trials were intended to test new ways of identifying, engaging and supporting claimants that may have transitional personal budgeting or digital support needs under Universal Credit.
The trials also explored different models of partnership working between Local Authorities, Jobcentre Plus and organisations that can provide transitional support.
The evaluation was carried out by the Learning and Work Institute, working in partnership with BMG Research and Policy in Practice. The aim of the evaluation was to capture common and comparable evidence from the trials so as to inform the future delivery of Universal Credit – in particular by identifying the most effective approaches to identifying, engaging and supporting claimants; and helping the government to understand the costs and benefits of different models.
The evaluation comprised three waves of face-to-face, in-depth research with each trial area; a two-wave survey of participants; and analysis of management information on trial costs and delivery. The research was supplemented with six learning reports and an interim evaluation report for trials, as well as regular workshops to discuss findings.