Friday, 16 December 2016

Pro Bono O.R. Christmas message

As the end of 2016 draws near, we are writing to thank you for being a Pro Bono Volunteer. Whatever level you have been involved at - whether you have completed a Pro Bono project, or put your name forward but not been selected, or are still waiting for a suitable project to come along - we appreciate your willingness to volunteer your time and expertise. The OR Society’s Pro Bono initiative is only possible because you and others like you offer your commitment.

Over the last year, we have completed 24 projects, representing a total of 135 person days, for charities as varied as Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive: for example “the volunteers were very dedicated and committed to the project skills gap in our team so added great value for data/insight-driven decisions” and “the work has allowed us to step back and take a bold decision in the way forward. One that we hadn't anticipated.” And we know that the volunteers who have been involved have generally been excited and inspired by the experience.

The scheme has been beneficial not just for the charities who have benefited directly, and for those volunteers who have had the chance to take part, but also for the visibility of O.R. itself. The Pro Bono O.R. initiative has been publicised widely in third sector discussion fora, publications, and by word of mouth. It is visible not just to charities, but to their trustees and other supporters whose day job is in other sectors of the economy, and to other specialist volunteers through our collaboration  with organisations such as DatakindUK (an equivalent initiative in the Data Science area) and the Government Statistical Service. And we are particularly proud that in this last year, we have spawned similar initiatives from INFORMS and APDIO, our US and Portuguese sister societies, respectively.

So whatever your involvement has been so far, we do hope that you will continue to stay involved during the coming year, and to keep in touch with Pro Bono’s successes and opportunities.
Wishing you a very merry festive season, and all the best for the New Year

Ruth Kaufman (OR Society President) & Felicity (Pro Bono O.R. Project Manager)


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

New projects with Sense, Home Start and Inclusion North #Volunteers required


Please find details of three new projects below with Home-Start Hampshire, Sense (London) and Inclusion North (Leeds). I have provided a brief summary and then attached a detailed project scope.  

Home-Start
Project summary:
Project: Mapping the gaps: to explore available data on the needs of parents and children and on service provision.
Time commitment: approx. 5 days. There is almost certainly scope for more if the volunteer wants to do more, so the volunteer should confirm scope, deliverables and time commitment at the initial meeting.
Location: Hampshire RG24 8AG. Mix of onsite and remote working
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Wednesday 4th January.
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
The Home-Start in Hampshire consortium, in common with all individual Home-Start schemes, believes that children need a happy and secure childhood and that parents play a key role in giving their children the best possible start in life and in helping them to achieve their full potential.
Main activities of the organisation: 
·         Communicating in a variety of ways to individual schemes and to all schemes in Hampshire about external and internal developments
·         Assessing the changing needs of families and children in communities across Hampshire  
·         Fundraising
·         Monitoring
·         Planning and considering strategic options
·         Marketing and promotion

Sense
Project summary:
Project: Estimates of the population who have a combined sight and hearing impairment by local authority and CCG

Time commitment: approx. 10 days, though this will need to be checked by the volunteer(s) in the light of information gathered at their first meeting.
Location: This project can be carried out remotely.
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Wednesday 4th January.
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
Sense is a national charity that supports people who are deafblind, have sensory impairments or complex needs, to enjoy more independent lives.
Main activities of the organisation: 


We provide information and advice, offer a wide range of flexible services and campaign passionately for the rights of the people we serve.


Inclusion North
Project summary:
Project: Support Northern-based learning disability charity to monitor and report progress against business plan objectives.
Time commitment: approx. 3 days, although though this will need to be checked by the volunteer(s) in the light of information gathered at the first meeting
Location:  Remote working would be preferred, but may be beneficial if volunteer can attend annual away day on Thursday 2nd February 2017 at Wortley Hall near Barnsley.
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Wednesday 4th January.
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
We promote the inclusion of people with learning disabilities, their families and carers. We want people with learning disabilities to have good lives. We support our Members in helping people to get the lives they want.

If you would like to volunteer on a project but are not able to commit to the full time requirement please let me know as it may be possible to pair you up with another analyst.  Lastly if you would like to work on a project as part of a pair or with the support of a mentor please indicate on your application and we try to facilitate this. 

I look forward to hearing from you and once again thank you for your help and support.
For further information about the scheme please visit: http://www.theorsociety.com/Probono  





Tuesday, 22 November 2016

RSS and OR Society develop new partnership on pro bono work

RSS and OR Society develop new partnership on pro bono work: The OR Society's Pro Bono scheme connects volunteers with third sector organisations to work on short term projects to assist them in making evidence-based decisions for operational improvements. Proj

Pro Bono O.R. projects with Diabetes UK, The OR Society and Action 4 London


Please find details of three new projects below with Action 4 London, The OR Society and Diabetes UK. 

Action 4 London

Project summary:
Project: Impact 4 London
To aid the organization to:
1. Identify and quantify the potential impact of Action4London’s activities
2. Design methods for measuring quantitative impact of activities
Time commitment: approx. 5 days over 2-3 months, though this will need to be checked by the volunteer(s) in the light of information gathered at their first meeting
Location: London, W1C 1BB. Mix of onsite and remote working
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midnight on Sunday 11th December.

Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
A4L supports the most disadvantaged communities in London through the actions of sharing of over 150 volunteers.
Main activities of the organisation: 
Group volunteering, mentoring and self-empowerment courses

The OR Society

Project summary:
Project: Development of an Impact Survey tracking and reporting process and tool: Pro Bono O.R. has been tracking the impacts of charities who have been supported by our volunteers. We now need help to develop a spreadsheet system for capturing and reporting project impacts.
Time commitment: approx. 3-4 days, though this will need to be checked by the volunteer(s) in the light of information gathered at their first meeting.
Location: This project can be carried out remotely. An initial kick off meeting could be held in Birmingham, London or remotely via Skype.
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midnight on Sunday 11th December.

Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
Advance knowledge of and interest in Operational Research and to advance education in Operational Research. 
Main activities of the organisation: 


·        Publications
·        Training programme
·        Conferences and events
·        OR in Schools
·        Pro Bono O.R.



Diabetes UK

Project summary:
Project: Delivering an excellent customer experience: Diabetes UK want to improve the way they deal with all supporters. Map current processes, identify problems, design improved processes.
Time commitment: approx. 20 days, although though this will need to be checked by the volunteer(s) in the light of information gathered at the first meeting.  If possible, it would be useful if the volunteer(s) could commit to a block of work rather than spreading the project out over several months.
This project would be suitable for a pair or team of volunteers.
Location: Whitechapel E1 1FH. Mix of onsite and remote working
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midnight on Sunday 11th December.

Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
To be experts in the field of diabetes care, treatment and research
Main activities of the organisation: 
We care for, connect with and campaign on behalf of all people affected by and at risk of diabetes, reaching people with diabetes in local communities across the UK.  

If you would like to volunteer on a project but are not able to commit to the full time requirement please let me know as it may be possible to pair you up with another analyst.  

Lastly if you would like to work on a project as part of a pair or with the support of a mentor please indicate on your application and we try to facilitate this. 

I look forward to hearing from you and once again thank you for your help and support.

For further information about the scheme please visit: http://www.theorsociety.com/Probono  

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Free IMPACT magazine. Issue 4 includes how Operational Research is being used to help not-for-profit organisations

IMPACT magazine is a free bi-annual publication produced by The OR Society.  It is packed with real-world examples of how to use analysis to make better decisions. It‘s full of thought-provoking articles and it‘s FREE.



The fourth issue contains the usual eclectic mix of stories of analytical work making an impact in a variety of organisations, including how Operational Research being used to help
not-for-profit organisations. In South Africa, Shout-it-Now, which is involved in
HIV counselling and testing, used simulation to help them contribute significantly
to reducing the rate of new HIV infections. In the UK, Bloodwise, a specialist blood
cancer charity, took advantage of the OR Society’s Pro Bono scheme, which provided
a volunteer analyst to help it understand better the various audiences with which it
seeks to engage. Details of the scheme are found in the article.

If you missed the first three issues, electronic copies are available at https://issuu.com/orsimpact

For future issues of this free magazine, please subscribe at

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Gaining strategic insight - latest complete #ProBonoOR project

Last year two #ProBono O.R. volunteers who worked for GORS (Government Operational Research Service) started a project with St Michael's Fellowship.

The charity wanted to be able to gain strategic insights from its data.  The two volunteers spent 18 days over a period of 10 months working with St Michael's Fellowship to achieve this outcome.

Below is a case study slide that summarizes the project.


For more information about Pro Bono O.R. visit: www.theorsociety.com/probono 

Monday, 7 November 2016

New Pro Bono projects with Save the Rhino and Form the Future

Pro Bono O.R. is currently recruiting for 3 new projects with Form the Future and Save the Rhino.  Below is a brief outline of the projects and a link to detailed project scopes.

Please do get in touch if you require any further information.


Form the Future (1)
Project summary:
Project: Process improvement: Reviewing Form the Future’s two main service delivery processes, to help them move to an online system.
Time commitment: approx. 4 days, though this will need to be checked by the volunteer in the light of information gathered at their first meeting
Location: Cambridge, CB4 2HY. Mix of onsite and remote working
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Monday 21st November.
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
To help young people learn about the world of work and prepare them for employment
Main activities of the organisation: 
Link schools and businesses to help young people understand the world of work. We run career and employability skill related events at schools, we undertake Health and Safety Checks for Work experience and run a mentoring programme.

Form the Future (2)
Project summary:
Project: Impact and performance measures: enabling Form the Future to understand, measure and report their impact and effectiveness
Time commitment: approx. 3-4 days, though this will need to be checked by the volunteer in the light of information gathered at their first meeting.
Location: Cambridge, CB4 2HY. Mix of onsite and remote working
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Monday 21st November.
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
To help young people learn about the world of work and prepare them for employment
Main activities of the organisation: 
Link schools and businesses to help young people understand the world of work. We run career and employability skill related events at schools, we undertake Health and Safety Checks for Work experience and run a mentoring programme.

Save the Rhino
Project summary:
Project: Analysis of fundraising data: SRI wishes to understand where its return on investment to raise unrestricted income is greatest and where it should focus its activities on growing
Time commitment: approx. 5-6 days, although though this will need to be checked by the volunteer(s) in the light of information gathered at the first meeting. 
This project would be suitable for a small team of volunteers who could then, perhaps look at more data, or carry out more in-depth analysis.
Location: London, SE1 4PR. 0.5 day on-site for kick-off meeting. Most of the analysis can be done remotely.
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Monday 21st November.
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
     Raising funds to protect and increase rhino numbers and population distribution in African and Asian range states
     Facilitating the exchange of technical support and information between rhino conservation stakeholders
     Ensuring that local communities in key rhino areas benefit from employment, capacity building, education, outreach and the sustainable use of natural resourcesDeveloping and delivering behaviour-change campaigns to reduce the demand for rhino horn in consumer countriesRaising global awareness of the need for urgent action on rhino conservation


Main activities of the organisation: 
Fundraising through trusts and foundations, companies, events, donations, campaigns, membership and merchandise

If you would like to volunteer on a project but are not able to commit to the full time requirement please let me know as it may be possible to pair you up with another analyst.  

Lastly if you would like to work on a project as part of a pair or with the support of a mentor please indicate on your application and we try to facilitate this. 

I look forward to hearing from you and once again thank you for your help and support.

For further information about the scheme please visit: http://www.theorsociety.com/Probono  




Thursday, 3 November 2016

Government OR conference plenary presentation


This week I attended the annual GORS (Governement O.R. Service) conference. It was the biggest conference to date with around 180 delegates attending on both Monday and Tuesday. Four streams were running covering a range of topics and areas of O.R. in practice in Goverment. As the membership body for professionals in Operational Research, The OR Society were there to tell people about the benefits of being a member of the society.




On the second day we also had the opportunity to give a plenary presenation which covered an overview of the Society and its two volunteer programmes (Pro Bono O.R. and O.R. in Schools). During the presenation 2 GORS Pro Bono volunteers gave an overview of thier expeirnce of carrying out a Pro Bono project and an ORiS volunteer described what it was like going into schools to promote maths and O.R.

The full presentation can be found here: http://ow.ly/F5sb305O67B

Half term and The Big Apple

After 10 years, my husband and I finally got to visit the city on the top of our bucket list.  For our 10 year anniversary we spent 4 fantastic days in this awesome city.  From the moment we touched down and saw the New York skyline to the 60 miles we walked to see all the sights, every moment lived up to my expectations.  My highlights include: watching the sunset at the top of the Rockefeller, the flatiron building, sunrise on Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park (which we manged to visit 6 times!).

Thursday, 20 October 2016

New Pro Bono O.R. projects #volunteers required



East Greenwich Neighbourhood Plan Forum

Project summary:
Project: To gather the views of local residents regarding local regeneration to steer the future development of the community.
Time commitment: This project could probably be split into 2 or possibly 3 sub-projects, each drawing upon different skill sets.
·         The first part would be concerned with developing and designing the survey, and deciding how best to maintain contact with the stakeholder groups. A volunteer with experience of Social Research would be ideal for this part of the project.
·         The second part would be to design the database/input method to store and analyse the results
·         The third part would be the analysis itself, and drawing the conclusions.
(The second and third parts could probably be combined.)
Each part would take a few days (5) over the course of a month, with the total project taking a few months (to carry out the survey, etc). If different volunteers undertook different parts there would have to be some collaboration/handover.
The volunteer(s) selected would be required to discuss the scope with East Greenwich and use the project proposal form to scope out what is achievable in the time available.  Due to the time commitment this project would suit a pair or team of volunteers.
Location: East Greenwich, SE10. Initial meeting on site would be very helpful. Other than this it can probably be done remotely
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Thursday 3rd November.

Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
a) Help promote and improve the social, economic and environmental well-being of residents within the relevant area of East Greenwich
b) Work with all relevant parties to achieve the sustainable regeneration of the area ensuring adequate provision of community infrastructure and amenities
c) Encourage high standards of development and architecture in creating a place where people want to live, work and visit
d) Represent the views of the local community and to ensure its voice is heard as part of the planning process and development of the area
e) Hold meetings, lectures and exhibitions
f) Raise funds by way of subscription, donation or otherwise
e) Do all such other lawful things as are necessary for the attainment of the aforesaid objects
Main activities of the organisation: 
To bring together the community to ensure we have an input into planning and development decisions within our local area as per the localism act 2012.

We are also recruiting a volunteer for the following project:

Willow
Project summary:
Project: Understanding the prevalence of serious illness in young people: To understand future demand on its service Willow needs to better understand the number of people that are diagnosed and suffering with serious illness.
Time commitment: approx. 1-3 weeks.  This can be spread out over a longer time period.  The volunteer selected would be required to discuss the scope with Willow and use the project proposal form to scope out what is achievable in the time available.  Due to the time commitment this project would suit a pair or team of volunteers.
Location: Hertfordshire. Much of the research will be online although telephone and email exchanges may be required to better understand the data. Therefore mostly this can be done from a location of the volunteer’s choice. One or two days scoping and catch up at Willow’s offices in Welwyn Garden City or a London location.
Please read project scope  and if you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return to me along with your CV by midday on Friday 28th October.
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives:
To improve the quality of life of young adults aged 16 to 40 with life-threatening illnesses through the provision of Special Days.
Main activities of the organisation: 
Willow is the only national charity working with seriously ill young adults aged 16 to 40 to fulfil uplifting and unforgettable Special Days. These Special Days enable them and their families to reconnect and refocus on each other while enjoying an activity of their choosing. A day for them, a day about them and a day that will create memories they will all treasure forever.

If you would like to volunteer on a project but are not able to commit to the full time requirement please let me know as it may be possible to pair you up with another analyst.  Lastly if you would like to work on a project as part of a pair or with the support of a mentor please indicate on your application and we can facilitate this. 

I look forward to hearing from you and once again thank you for your help and support.

For further information about the scheme please visit: http://www.theorsociety.com/Probono