Consultancy

My consultancy work is informed by the same values as my facilitation role where I aim to bring impartiality and clarity to situations where I feel through my experience I can add value. My approach is informed by my experience of what works (and what doesn’t) and a willingness and ability to observe and listen. I follow a logical methodology from recording an objective appraisal of what I learn from interviews and desk research to formulating practical recommendations to improve client outcomes and management efficiency.

My consultancy interests stem from 20 years’ experience working in the voluntary sector and subsequent work in neighbourhood renewal specialising in community empowerment and engagement. I was accredited as a Neighbourhood Renewal Advisor (NRA) by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister from 2002 (taken over from 2006 by the Department of Communities and Local Government) until the phasing out of the scheme in December 2008. I was subsequently appointed as a Local Improvement Advisor (the successor role to NRAs) on a three year contract which expired in 2011. I was appointed an Associate Consultant for the Local Government Improvement and Development Agency (LGID) in December 2008 and for many years had an ongoing working relationship with the National Association of Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA).

Examples of consultancy assignments I have undertaken include:

Evaluations: Utilising a variety of evaluation techniques to establish performance measures based on the quantity and quality of management and service delivery and fundamentally, quantifying the benefit to the service users. Clients include:

  • Hull Community and Voluntary Services (review of management and governance)
  • South Yorkshire Open Forum (for the Government Office for Yorkshire and the Humber (Objective One programme)
  • Stronger Together in East Middlesbrough (Neighbourhood Management Project)
  • Voluntary Action Sheffield (Vulnerable People Project)

Voluntary and Community Sector: Prior to becoming freelance in 2002, experience working in the voluntary sector in community business and infra-structure support roles has helped inform consultancy assignments looking at the contribution made by the voluntary and community sector to (amongst other things) the regeneration and renewal agenda. Examples of work completed include:

  • Learning the Lessons : A review of the Voluntary and Community sector contribution to the Objective One programme in South Yorkshire)
  • Blyth Valley District Council: Review of voluntary and community sector infrastructure provision in Blyth Valley
  • London Borough of Waltham Forest (for Renaisi Consulting): reviewing voluntary and community sector infra-structure support

Outcome Based Accountability™: To complement the Outcome Based Accountability™ (OBA) training I have developed, I have carried out consultancy assignments to support Local Authorities and Government Departments on developing Outcome Frameworks and Implementation strategies. Examples include:

  • Essex County Council: Helping to inform the development of an Outcomes Framework as part the transformation strategy
  • North East Lincolnshire Council: Developing an Outcomes Framework and advising on outcome design and choice of indicators
  • Dorset County Council: Input on design of the Council’s Outcome Framework
  • Northern Ireland Policing Board/Department of Justice: Input on guidelines and reporting templates for Policing and Community Safety Partnerships across Northern Ireland
  • Fermanagh and Omagh Community Planning Partnership: Development of Community Plan and reporting guidelines

VCS and Community Engagement: Government focus on voluntary and community sector engagement in strategic planning and the community empowerment agenda has been an area of particular interest for me. My consultancy work in this area has focused on the governance of partnership bodies and mechanisms to ensure communities are engaged in the decisions that affect them. Examples include:

  • Aylesbury New Deal for Communities (Southwark, South London): Review of community development and support needs following redevelopment
  • Blackpool Borough Council (Review of the voluntary and community sector engagement in Local Area Agreement negotiation process)
  • Burngreave New Deal for Communities (Sheffield): Review and report on resident board member engagement and election
  • Crosby Neighbourhood Management Pathfinder (Scunthorpe): Advice on governance structure and resident engagement

Governance: Advising on appropriate management and legal structures for partnerships and not-for-profit organisations working in partnership with Charlie Cattell. Research and Writing: I have also been engaged by clients to research examples of good practice and write up findings for publication. Examples include:

  • National Association of Voluntary and Community Action (NAVCA): “Anatomy of a Merger” An account of the merger between all five voluntary sector infrastructure support organisations in Cumbria in 2007. A merger on this scale is unprecedented in the sector and demonstrates how co-operation between agencies can benefit service users and provide equity of provision across a largely rural area.
  • Government Office East Midlands: Renewal.net case studies: I was commissioned to research and write up eight examples of good practice in neighbourhood renewal in the East Midlands region as a resource for regeneration practitioners

Blog

Reporting on Outcomes

I have recently completed work supporting the Joint Committee of the Northern Ireland Policing Board and Department of Justice to improve outcome reporting from the eleven […]

Draft Programme for Government Framework (Northern Ireland)

I’ve just submitted my response to the publication by the Northern Ireland Executive of its Draft Programme for Government Framework. This is a radical, outcome focused framework based on Mark Friedman’s Outcome Based Accountability™ (OBA) approach.

Turning Curves

Hot on the heels of Mark Friedman’s “Trying Hard is Not Good Enough” 10 Year edition is his latest publication“Turning Curves: An Accountability Companion Reader”. The book complements “Trying Hard” with a series of short articles featuring case studies from around the world demonstrating the successful implementation of (Results) Outcome Based Accountability™ thinking.

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