Case Study

Financial Capability Projects

Client: Big Lottery Fund, Money Advice Service | Sectors: Social Policy, Regions and Cities

We have established a strong track record of work in the field of financial capability. There are significant volumes of organisations and initiatives working across the UK to support improvements in people’s financial capability levels including improving people's ability to manage money well, both day to day and through significant life events, and their ability to handle periods of financial difficulty. Despite this, levels of financial capability across the UK remain frustratingly low.

Many adults don’t have the resilience to deal with day-to-day events such as repairing or replacing an important household item, and too many people in the UK are in financial difficulties and have problems with debt which they are not proactively seeking support with. We have conducted evaluations for various clients in this field. 

We conducted an evaluation of Big Lottery Fund’s £31.7m Improving Financial Confidence investment which aimed to identify practical, sustainable solutions to financial exclusion, with a specific focus on tenants in social housing. 37 projects across England tested a range approaches to addressing financial exclusion and capability. We conducted a robust and systematic evaluation of the impact of these projects and captured best practice to identify how and where these approaches could be taken forward. The evaluation was supported by a learning strand which allowed evaluation findings to be disseminated as they were generated through events, conferences, newsletters and social media.

More recently, we have firmly established ourselves in the field through a series of contracts for the Money Advice Service (MAS), the statutory body responsible for enhancing public understanding of financial matters. We are working as the Evaluation and Learning Partner for the Financial Capability What Works Fund for MAS, as part of a consortium. The £7m Fund focusses on supporting 70 projects across the personal financial capability sector across the whole of the UK. Our contract involves providing a range of services including evaluation support, action learning, and dissemination activities. Building on this we are also reviewing and undertaking quality assurance of existing evidence on MAS’ Financial Capability Evidence Hub. Specifically our work involves identifying evidence, reviewing new summaries for inclusion on the hub and writing thematic reviews. Through a separate contract we are also conducting a specific Managing Money evidence review to collate, summarise and help MAS to interpret the best available evidence regarding money management for working age adults to inform their commissioning decisions for the next three years.

Key Experts

Katharine McKenna Associate Director