Evaluation of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s Minimum Income Standards Programme

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Summary & aims

First developed in 2008, JRF’s Minimum Income Standards (MIS) adopts a consensual approach that blends expert advice with detailed public consultation. Routinely updated to reflect changes in both the cost of living and social norms, JRF’s MIS provides annual baseline budgets that systematically explore what constitutes a minimum socially acceptable standard of living.


The original purpose of the JRF’s Minimum Income Standards Programme was to inform, challenge and enhance the work of policy-makers and practitioners in order to support standards of fairness and well-being in Britain. In particular, JRF’s objective was to complement the official poverty statistics which have long been produced by the government and are now incorporated by the Child Poverty Act. 

The aim of the project is to provide an overall evaluation of the programme, and to identify the extent to which these aims have been achieved.  


The evaluation will use qualitative research methods, drawing largely on the experience and expertise of key stakeholders identified to have used MIS. It will also analyse data sources provided by JRF and coverage in traditional and social media. 

Timescale and funder

The evaluation started in January 2016 and the final report was published in May 2016.


An Evaluation of JRF’s Minimum Income Standards Programme