Devolution of Community Care Grants and Crisis Loans: Analysis of consultation responses

This report presents the findings of the analysis of responses received as part of the consultation on the devolution of the Social Fund.

Appendix 3: Methodology

The analysis of responses followed the Consultation Good Practice Guidance provided by the Scottish Government.

Most responses broadly followed the structure of the consultation document providing a mix of structured and unstructured responses.

The analysis was approached systematically by reading all responses and developing a coding framework to capture the range and nature of responses. Respondents were categorised by type using information provided on the Respondent Information Form submitted with responses.

A database was created and checks made for duplicate or very similar responses.[27] Responses to each question were then analysed to capture the range and nature of views expressed, including the commonalities and uniqueness of responses. Responses were cross-referenced across questions to ensure that the nuances of responses were not lost, particularly where respondents had chosen not to respond using the structure of the consultation questions. Responses to individual questions were also analysed to see if there was any pattern of response across several questions by particular groups of respondents. All three report authors have been involved in the analysis of responses to allow for cross-checking and validation of the interpretation of the data.

The consultation process invited anyone who wished to respond to do so; as such, the responses are not based on a representative sample and no attempt has been made to identify an overall consensus. The data was largely qualitative and the report highlights the nature of the responses and the themes that emerged across responses, including whether responses supported or challenged the underlying premises of the consultation document and where people have not answered the question. Quantitative analysis is reported for the 4 closed questions. In the tables reported here, in some cases where respondents have not directly answered the closed question, we have used any accompanying text response to infer views and have added them to the appropriate category.

In reporting, the analysis of each question has been integrated around the main themes evident in the consultation responses. These largely focused on the questions that were asked in the consultation paper. Quotes are used selectively to illustrate the nature of responses from across the range of respondents. These are reported anonymously.

Respondents were also invited to submit any evidence about the operation of the current system that they considered could have bearing on the successor arrangements. This material has also been useful in enhancing the interpretation of responses and has been used to illustrate respondent themes.

Whilst there were no responses directly from people who identified themselves as having personal experience of poverty or as applicants to the Social Fund, a number of organisational responses were explicitly based on wider consultative processes and evidence derived from working directly with people with such experience. In this respect, some third sector responses were quite detailed - for example, providing case study material and accounts from service users and casework experience.

Some local authority responses also cited casework evidence. Local authority respondents mainly came from social care or social work departments, from community planning or corporate planning. Four local authority responses came from welfare benefits or welfare rights services, and one was submitted by a local authority on behalf of a multi-agency forum focusing on employment issues. One of the local authority responses addressed only the first question in the consultation questionnaire.

Whilst some of the third sector responses were from organisations that represent a number of equalities groups and from umbrella groups or alliances with a broad membership, the main gaps are in relation to direct commentary on how the successor arrangements may impact on black and minority ethnic communities, and to a lesser extent, the elderly. There were also few responses from a health service perspective. Commentary on any obvious gaps or 'silent voices' in the responses is provided where relevant throughout the reporting.


Email: Marie-Amelie Viatte (or Dorothy Ogle, policy officer)

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