Analysis

prevention

How can we measure data in a more meaningful way?

Project Details

Last updated:

August 4, 2022

Status

Completed

Partners

Contact

hello@homelessnessimpact.org

Key reports

National statistics for homelessness in Scotland are primarily drawn from a number of local authority data collections. However, this mechanism for calculating street homelessness has its limitations.

In 2018, the Homelessness and Rough Sleeping Action Group (HARSAG) outlined 70 recommendations for the Scottish Government to implement in order to end rough sleeping, transform the use of temporary accommodation, and end homelessness altogether in Scotland. 

HARSAG’s recommendations represent a call to measure the things that are meaningful, rather than simply looking for meaning in the things that are already measured.

Find out more about the project in the video below.

Findings: 

  • There is an opportunity for the system to encourage a shift in attitudes towards data
  • Much of the useful data that is currently collected on homelessness is collected in chunks. There is an opportunity for the system to build a picture of people’s cases over time
  • People in the homelessness system frequently describe it as a disempowering and depersonalising experience. The users voice has an opportunity to come through in the data collection
  • Organisations supporting people experiencing homelessness felt like they were ‘firefighting’. The data system may enable effective management of available resources so that service providers can make more informed and timely decisions

How we went about it

The Centre for Homelessness Impact worked with the Scottish Government to develop an options appraisal for a national data and monitoring system for street homelessness in Scotland.

Beginning with the conviction that we must treat the systemic causes – not just the symptoms – of homelessness, the Centre took a broad approach to this options appraisal. In addition to a literature review of similar systems worldwide and guidance from an expert advisory panel, we spent significant time with future users of a data collection system for homelessness. Collectively, these learnings start to build a picture of what a Scottish data collection system for street homelessness should look like, how it should function, how it can help the various stakeholders, and what needs to happen to make the data collection successful.

Team

Dave Russell, Centre for Homelessness Impact
Dr. Ian Thomas

Project Details

Last updated:

August 4, 2022

Status

Completed

Partners

Funded by

Contact

hello@homelessnessimpact.org

Key reports

How can we measure data in a more meaningful way?

Topic
project dates
July 2018 - January 2019
project leads
hello@homelessnessimpact.org
How can we measure data in a more meaningful way?
An options appraisal for a national data and monitoring system for street homelessness in Scotland
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