Successful regions are able to understand and articulate the factors that are influencing their development. They use this information to develop, refine, monitor and evaluate strategy and the implementation of policy.
A strong and shared evidence base is also vital in developing common approaches to regional issues and in influencing decision-makers within and outside the region.
The West Midland’s Regional Observatory is a key source of regional intelligence and is responsible for helping the region to measure itself, to inform decision-making.
Our contribution to improving the regional evidence base for policy is to:
Review the state of the region against the strategic objectives for its development
Provide effective access to information and intelligence – global through to local – for regional agencies, businesses and communities whilst respecting confidentiality and intellectual property rights
Engage partners in determining information and intelligence priorities in the region and in mobilising relevant research work
Ensure best practice and consistency in producing and using West Midlands information and intelligence from different knowledge domains
WMRO has provided much of the evidence base for developing and monitoring key regional strategies. For example, last year, we led three projects preparing elements of the evidence base for the review of the Regional Economic Strategy (RES). We are now developing a monitoring framework for the new RES which will be published in November. We have also carried out major projects monitoring elements of the Regional Spatial Strategy and the Regional Energy Strategy. In addition we have developed the Regional Skills Performance Index (Opens in new window) which has been adopted by the Department for Education and Skills.
Whilst we produce data and intelligence, we also provide a central resource for access to data and intelligence. The Resource Catalogue is the primary tool in our work to identify and publicise data and intelligence resources. It provides full details on reports, datasets, websites and other information resources. You can browse the catalogue using the subject categories or strategy classification systems. Alternatively, try searching for resources using our search tool.