“A different kind of assessment is needed… In line with ideas of social learning, such assessment should be based on dialogue, deliberation, and discussion between key stakeholders rather than a technical exercise done by experts.  It would also call on a wide range of sources of knowledge, combining statistical data with the insights and experiential knowledge held by practitioners and the lay knowledge and experience of communities”

    Lancet Commission (2012) “Shaping cities for health: complexity and the planning of urban environments in the 21st century”

    Partners in Newcastle, led by the Wellbeing for Life Board, have committed to working together through a single policy approach, called the Newcastle Future Needs Assessment (NFNA).  As a process, the NFNA provides an integrated, coherent and evidence-based means of partners working together to determine priorities in the city.


    The NFNA is the way in which we fulfil our statutory responsibilities for undertaking a Joint Strategic Needs Assessment but we are also developing it to fulfil other requirements for assessments or evidence-based planning.


    The NFNA aims to be:

    • Holistic – to draw not just on statistical data, but other sources of knowledge such as the insights of practitioners and local people
    • Participatory – based on dialogue and joint thinking through which people develop shared understanding of the issues facing the city
    • Forward-looking – to help us anticipate the future and take collective action to shape it
    • Value-informed - shaped by our values, particularly those of fairness and inclusion
    • Integrated – to inform different levels and types of policy and strategic activity whether undertaken together or individually by partners

    In March 2014, we ended the most intensive development phase for the Newcastle Future Needs Assessment.  You can read more  in this report which was received by the Wellbeing for Life Board on 11 March 2014.

    A key element of the Newcastle Future Needs Assessment is Know Newcastle - a web-based city information resource - that includes statistical insights about people in the city and acts as a repository of narratives and other reports.  Please browse Know Newcastle to find out more about people living, working or learning in Newcastle.