§ Mr. Duncan Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what is the timescale for assessing the effectiveness of the New Deal for lone parents pilots; and what measurements will be used to assess the success or failure of the scheme. 
§ Mr. Keith Bradley
A report comparing the short-term and longer-term outcomes for lone parents in the eight New Deal for Lone Parents lead areas with those in six control areas will be published around Autumn 1999.
The impact of the first phase of the New Deal for Lone Parents will be measured by comparing outcomes for lone parents in the lead areas with the outcomes for a similar, but geographically separate, group of lone parents in control areas. The control areas provide a benchmark or 'counterfactual' by which to assess the impact of the New Deal for Lone Parents.
Administrative data are being collected at the same time for both lead and control areas. For tracking purposes, these data will be collected for six months after the national rollout of the New Deal for Lone Parents to all lone parents in October 1998. Carefully selected samples of lone parents in the control areas will also be interviewed, as will lone parents in the lead areas.
Any additional movements into work in the New Deal for Lone Parents areas over and above that which occurs in the control areas can be attributed to the New Deal for Lone Parents itself, after allowing for changes in the local labour markets and other demographic factors. In addition, the comparison will show any additional movement into education and training as a step towards future labour market participation.
The Employment Service will be responsible for evaluating the national programme of the New Deal for Lone Parents from October 1998. The Employment Service is currently drafting a joint evaluation strategy in conjunction with the Department of Social Security and the Department for Education and Employment. This evaluation strategy will cover the period from national rollout to all lone parents in October 1998 through the lifetime of this Parliament.
§ Mr. Keith Bradley
Up to the beginning of April the New Deal for Lone Parents was available to lone parents in eight lead areas. In six other, control areas a variety of demographic information is being collected to help evaluate the effect of the New Deal for Lone Parents. However, since the New Deal for Lone Parents was not operational in these six areas, there are no participant or non-participant lone parents.
The information collected in the control areas is:
- (i) Survey data on lone parents' patterns of employment and movements into work, their qualifications and training, partnership and family histories.
- (ii) Income Support data for all lone parents which provide information on their full Income Support claim, date of birth, gender, number and age of children and number of non-dependants.