The Local Government Association (LGA) Research and Information team provides research and analytic services to the LGA and help and support to the local government sector.
Championing local research and data needs
A key mission is to help local government access the evidence and data that the sector needs. For example, we work closely with:
- Central government, ONS, the UK Statistics Authority and others to influence the quality, nature and accessibility of statistics from official and academic sources to secure outputs that are useful at a local level (concentrating recently on population and migration statistics).
- Research councils through the Local Authority Research Council Initiative (LARCI) and through major research council programmes, such as Living with Environmental Change and the Energy Programme, to secure research that will be useful to the sector and to develop productive links between councils and the research sector.
- represent local government on key groups including the Central Local Information Partnership (CLIP), the Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC) and the National Youth Agency (NYA) to ensure that sector interests are recognised and that the sector benefits as a result; and
- provide some specialist data services to the sector, for example, comparative data on the workforce and access to government worker registration scheme data.
Analytic and research services
We provide the following services:
- INFORM: the LGA's new prototype data service: a free online dataservice for councils and fire and rescue authorities which provides a practical response to the sector's call for greater freedom to take responsibility for its own regulation and improvement – LG Inform
will eventually allow anyone in the sector to access, compare and analyse data and present their findings.
- In-house studies and surveys: for example, on local authority responses to flooding.
- Research commissioning, ranging from public opinion polling through to in-depth research commissioned from research institutions and consultancies such as the National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) and the Institute for Community Cohesion: for example, investigating the impacts of migration on council services or looking at the impact on social housing of migration.
- Advice on how to commission research to support the work of the LGA and the sector more widely.
- Bespoke analysis, for example, on council performance or using statistics from official, academic or other sources that help inform the context and challenges for councils.
- Evidence reviews on current and emerging issues including, for example, recent work on the 'impacts of recession on local economies and local authority funding' and 'the impact of recession on migration'