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Hopeful Towns: BID-BUILDER

7. Create a rationale for potential interventions

Usually, the proposal you are putting forward will have a rationale or theory-of-change of some sort underpinning it. It will be based on evidence that a particular intervention strengthens community relations or builds neighbourhood capacity.

For example, you may want to release funds for arts projects because cultural opportunities are important in creating social capital. Or you may want to provide English for Speakers of Other Languages facilities (ESOL) because you want to open up channels of communication between residents.

Work by academics, think tanks, charities or parliamentary groups can often be used to provide an underpinning rationale of this kind, making your proposal more robust. You do not need to be steeped in the work of these organisations, but a short Lit Review – or even 2-3 key citations early on – can often be really useful things to lean on in your application.

The Literature Archive on this site may be helpful here. It signposts to the latest resources from organisations working in this space. And our own Hopeful Towns Insights may also help, as they demonstrate correlations – e.g. between factors like lower passport ownership and higher hostility to migration.

You may well have academic studies you prefer to use, but the key thing is to indicate an element of theory, upon which your proposal intends to build.


It is also really helpful, where applicable, to provide data and evidence from past interventions of your own, to unpack why a particular approach works.

A related aspect of this is that you provide robust costings to explain why the intervention represents the most sensible use of the money available. This should show consideration of financial and delivery risks, as well as factoring in the sustainability and legacy of the programme. Likewise, match funding and use of non monetary assets should be mentioned.

The goal is that you show why your intervention is the best way of solving the problem, but also why your approach is the best way of delivering the intervention.


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