Monday, 17 October 2016

Understanding the Benefits of a Social Care Programme #ORblog

CORDA recently completed a project for the WAVE Trust - a charity committed to improving the welfare of children – as part of its support of The OR Society’s Pro Bono scheme. The scheme connects volunteer analysts with charities and other not-for-profit organisations to work on short-term projects to help them to make evidence-based decisions for operational improvements.

Ben Ludford, a senior consultant at CORDA, led the project and explains: “Working with the WAVE Trust was a great experience. Not only were we able to support a charity that provides such a valuable service for children but it also gives volunteers like me the opportunity to tackle different kinds of problems in their entirety, using a range of OR and analytics techniques, and other skills to help good cause.”

The WAVE Trust has a particular focus on improving social and emotional development and mental health, and preventing child maltreatment. The project saw CORDA work closely with the charity to develop a business case for it to present to local authorities in a bid to secure funding for a pilot of its social care programme Pioneer Communities.

CORDA’s analysts worked with the Trust to understand its current business case and to identify where further work was needed. This highlighted that the WAVE Trust had a good understanding of the costs and delivery of the programme, but that there was a need to develop a better understanding of the benefits and how this tied to financial savings for the local authorities. This benefit information could then be linked with the cost data to create a cost benefit model showing the payback of the programme over time.

Using its modelling expertise, CORDA planned several ways in which benefit data could be collected, delivering a report with advice on how this could be achieved. It also built a model that provided a cost-benefit analysis.

This is the first pro bono project CORDA has delivered through The OR Society’s scheme. Projects through the scheme usually involve data analysis, impact measurement, options appraisal, risk analysis, strategic planning/review, scheduling & process improvement.

As well as providing companies with an opportunity for its employees to get involved in pro bono work, it also provides third sector organisations like The Wave Trust with a range of benefits including access to analytics experts, help with identifying and clarifying problems and finding real solutions that improve what they do.

To find out more about the scheme or to request support for a charity or third sector organisation, please visit

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