§ Mr. Edward Davey
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what the value of the contract given to the National Evaluation Team for the New Deal for Communities was; and if he will make a statement on its work. 
§ Yvette Cooper
The value of the contract between the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister and a consortium led by Sheffield Hallam University for the interim phase of the national evaluation of the New Deal for Communities programme is £16.4 million. The contract covers work on the national evaluation to the end of September 2005.
The national NDC evaluation is supporting the work of the 39 individual NDC Partnerships, the nine respective Government Offices and the Neighbourhood Renewal Unit by providing evidence about how well the NDCs are delivering against their outcome targets.
For each of the 39 NDCs, the evaluation is providing an initial baseline household survey, a follow-up survey two years later and annual detailed reports on a wide range of process issues, such as community engagement and mainstreaming. In addition, the evaluation is providing NDC-area specific analysis of administrative data from DWP, DH, DfES and the Home Office, among others The annual NDC reports inform the Government Office reviews of the Partnerships and are collated into an annual NDC programme-wide report. The 2002–03 NDC evaluation report was published in October last year.
The report of the interim evaluation, due in mid-2005, will provide detailed evidence of how much progress each of the 39 NDCs has made in closing the gap between conditions in the partnership neighbourhood and the wider district and identify the critical success factors and barriers to performance.