The Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) has been working with government departments to explore how policies can be assessed against the levelling up agenda.
The government’s high-profile paper White Paper on the levelling up agenda sets out the principles of spreading opportunity more equally across the country.
Progress will be measured using 12 long-term ‘missions’ which span multiple government departments and relate to topics such as education, health, and housing.
Mapping the country
GAD works with government departments to assess how policies can best effect the levelling up principles in specific geographical areas. If the policy results in new funding being channelled to more deprived areas, that can provide evidence of support for the levelling up agenda.
An example solution is based on publicly available data from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. Their series of deprivation indices can be mapped to many of the long-term missions.
These indices are built up from small geographic areas – Lower-layer Super Output Areas (LSOA). There are approximately 30,000 in England. Each LSOA is ranked according to its index score, and these rankings are used to split the country into 10 equally sized categories (or deciles).
The diagram provides a visual summary of the levelling up challenge in England. The areas in red are ranked as the most deprived.
This collaborative approach between GAD and other government departments allows departments to assess policies against deprivation. It helps them to design better interventions that support the levelling up agenda.
Project lead Matt Kirkpatrick said: “We’re working closely with clients on this key government policy. We provide support by using our actuarial skills to help them assess the effectiveness of their policies in line with the levelling up agenda”
GAD continues to support government clients on this policy. As a result, we build up intelligence on which policy mechanisms are likely to encourage the distribution of funds to the areas which need them most.