Skills and Productivity Commission – Measuring Success

This project focused on the delivery of an assessment of the performance review indicators in the WMCA Annual Economic Review. The Strategic Economic Plan (SEP) sets out bold economic ambitions for the region, and a shared determination that all our citizens will feel the benefits of that success. 

The balance outcomes developed in the Performance Management Framework ensure that success is defined and pursued in broad social and economic terms that feel real to the people living and working here.

This work has looked at whether the indicators the West Midlands Combined Authority have reflect the vision to be delivered and the success they want to create for the future. It has been commissioned by the West Midlands Combined Authority on behalf of the Skills and Productivity Commission.

This review has been designed to support the development of clear thinking about the indicators we use to measure the impact of the Skills and Productivity Commission’s recommendations; to posit a logic chain from intervention to outcome which will help inform activities going forward.


As part of this review we have also reviewed the use of indicators in terms of inclusive growth. Some of the key questions posed at the beginning of this work were:

  • What do the outcome measures mean – For instance, in the case of GVA what does it measure and how is it constructed? How can we use them? How accountable can we be?
  • Developing our logic chain - How we create change in the measures? How do micro level actions impact on macro level indicators? What can we do to improve the position of the indicators?
  • Output to outcome - Are there better ways to measure our progress? This involves a review of other data sources and suggestions for short, medium and long term development of better indicators

The findings of this review were presented to the Commission on 20th April 2018 and the report represents a written record of that presentation and subsequent discussion. It is important to note that this has been a collaborative piece of work with Black Country Consortium and the review process was a dynamic research in action process. With interim presentations and review points. This work has been built on iteratively and continues to do so with the development of dashboards being an ongoing process.

The team

  • Rebecca Riley
    Business Development Director, City-REDI
  • Professor Anne Green 
    Professor of Regional Economic Development, Birmingham Business School
  • Tasos Kitsos
    Research Fellow, City-REDI
  • Keiran Collinson

Funder/client: WMCA
Timescale: Dec 2017 - April 2018


Rebecca RileyProject lead: Rebecca Riley
Tel: 0121 414 4366