Thursday, 26 May 2016

4 new projects requiring volunteer analysts

Spaces remaining for Volunteer Celebration & 4 projects requiring volunteers
With less than a month to go until the Volunteer Celebration please remember to register for your FREE place. Whether you have actively volunteered or are just currently registered and looking for an appropriate opportunity we appreciate your support and would like to invite you to this exclusive free event where you can hear more about the scheme over complimentary food and drinks. Further details and registration here.
Please find details of four projects below.  If you are unable to access the links please let me know and I can send you an attachment. 
Please note these projects are suitable for an individual, pair or team of analysts. 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 with the support of a mentor please do specify in your application and I can try to arrange this. 
miKind Online
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives: Provide a platform with Online Global Interactive Map of community projects worldwide. Bring together communities worldwide and provide website features that facilitate knowledge and info sharing, collaborations and partnership opps.
Main activities of the organisation:  Social - Creating, Developing and Running online global community platform. Enterprise – Global Partnership Service at community level.

Project summary:
Project: Global partnership analysis of miKind registered NGO’s: miKind wants to develop analytics that will enable them to understand and better serve the different communities they work with.
Time commitment: approx. 5 days
LocationRemote
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 9th June.

Volunteer Centre Sutton
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives: to advance education, protect health, relieve poverty, sickness and distress.
Main activities of the organisation:  See project scope.

Project summary:
Project: Analysing a Prescribed Volunteering Programme: Determining a spreadsheet model to be used for data collection and analysis as part of a project to assess the health benefits of volunteering.
Time commitment: approx. 5 days
LocationSutton SM1 1SJ (Mix of onsite and offsite meeting)
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 2nd June.

Islington Play Association (IPA)
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives to advance education of children and young adults in Islington and the surrounding area by offering appropriate play and learning facilities.
Main activities of the organisation: 
·        Campaigning for children’s right and freedom to play
·        Direct delivery of 6 adventure playgrounds and a children's centre in Islington
·        Support play providers in Islington
·        Dissemination of good practice

Project summary:
Project: Evidencing the adventure playgrounds' success: Harnessing the ability to accurately record visitor numbers to the adventure playgrounds, an essential measure of their success.
Time commitment: approx. 2-4 weeks depending on availability
LocationVarious sites across Islington
Note: This project would suit a team of junior analysts or students who could investigate the different playgrounds.
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 2nd June.

We are still looking for a volunteer for the following project (please note the deadline for applications has been extended).
Bullion Community Resource Centre
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives: to initiate and support action to change lives, strengthen communities and challenge inequalities across Chester-le-Street and the wider surrounding area.

Main activities of the organisation:  Bullion Hall is a community centre which hosts activities e.g. parent and toddler groups for approx. 800 people per weeks as well as providing office space to a number of local charities.

Project summary:
Project: Demonstrating impact: To examine the activities that currently take place in our community centre and identify how these impact upon participants and whether this can be illustrated as a financial return so that we can present this evidence to funders and commissioners. (Happy for the volunteer to decide on the best approach).
Time commitment: approx. 5 days
LocationCounty Durham, DH2 2DW (Mix of onsite and offsite meeting)
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 2nd June.

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 or follow me on:  twitter LinkedIn

Felicity McLeister
Pro Bono O.R. Project Manager
The OR Society
Direct Tel +44 (0)121 234 7826, Main Tel +44 (0)121 233 9300





Thursday, 19 May 2016

New projects with Pro Bono

Pro Bono O.R. – enabling managers to make more effective decisions


Pro Bono O.R. is a scheme operated by The OR Society that places professional analysts in short term projects with third sector organisations in the UK. 

Projects require skilled professionals who work in operational research, analytics or related professions.  If you have the skills required for a project, we’d love to hear from you.
Please find details of a new project below that we are seeking a volunteer(s) for:

Volunteer Centre Sutton
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives: to advance education, protect health, relieve poverty, sickness and distress.
Main activities of the organisation:  See project scope.

Project summary:
Project: Analysing a Prescribed Volunteering Programme: Determining a spreadsheet model to be used for data collection and analysis as part of a project to assess the health benefits of volunteering.
Time commitment: approx. 5 days
LocationSutton SM1 1SJ (Mix of onsite and offsite meeting)
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 2nd June.

Islington Play Association (IPA)
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives to advance education of children and young adults in Islington and the surrounding area by offering appropriate play and learning facilities.
Main activities of the organisation: 
·        Campaigning for children’s right and freedom to play
·        Direct delivery of 6 adventure playgrounds and a children's centre in Islington
·        Support play providers in Islington
·        Dissemination of good practice

Project summary:
Project: Evidencing the adventure playgrounds' success: Harnessing the ability to accurately record visitor numbers to the adventure playgrounds, an essential measure of their success.
Time commitment: approx. 2-4 weeks depending on availability
LocationVarious sites across Islington
Note: This project would suit a team of junior analysts or students who could investigate the different playgrounds.

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 2nd June.


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/Pages/Probono/Probono.aspx

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Thursday, 12 May 2016

New project with Pro Bono O.R.

Pro Bono O.R. – enabling managers to make more effective decisions

Pro Bono O.R. is a scheme operated by The OR Society that places professional analysts in short term projects with third sector organisations in the UK. 

Projects require skilled professionals who work in operational research, analytics or related professions.  If you have the skills required for a project, we’d love to hear from you.
Please find details of a new project below that we are seeking a volunteer(s) for:

Bullion Community Resource Centre
Information about the organisation:
Charitable objectives: to initiate and support action to change lives, strengthen communities and challenge inequalities across Chester-le-Street and the wider surrounding area.

Main activities of the organisation:  Bullion Hall is a community centre which hosts activities e.g. parent and toddler groups for approx. 800 people per weeks as well as providing office space to a number of local charities. Planning permission has been granted to extend the building (cost £600k) and are currently exploring how we can take this forward. In November we took on a community café operating in Bullion Hall since 2005 from Durham County Council. We now employ a care coordinator and have responsibility for service users (adults with learning disabilities) referred by DCC for which we are paid. We need to ensure that this café can operate a surplus

Project summary:
Project: Demonstrating impact: To examine the activities that currently take place in our community centre and identify how these impact upon participants and whether this can be illustrated as a financial return so that we can present this evidence to funders and commissioners. (Happy for the volunteer to decide on the best approach).
Time commitment: approx. 5 days
LocationCounty Durham, DH2 2DW (Mix of onsite and offsite meeting)
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 26th May.

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/Pages/Probono/Probono.aspx
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Tuesday, 10 May 2016

A mention in the Guardian

Yesterday an article was published in the Guardian:
'How data science is helping charities to fight hunger in the UK'

I have provided the link above for you to read the whole article and have provided a few exerts below, including a plug for Pro Bono O.R.

'Over the past 18 months, the Trussell Trust has been working with researchers from Hull University Business School and social innovation agency AAM Associates to explore how new technologies can help them to fight UK hunger.


With data science firm Coppelia recruited to the project, and having taken advice directly from the Information Commissioner’s Office on appropriate data security, the initial analysis highlighted some noticeable regional variations and delivery patterns year on year.


A mapping tool was used to show how the trust’s users are distributed geographically. Heat maps showing demand – the darker the colour, the greater the demand – have allowed us to visualise regional patterns of need.


For charities – especially those on the frontline helping people in crisis – this project highlights the importance of collecting data, and how the potential for aligning open data sets (a charge led well by the Open Data Institute) with that data is rapidly becoming a reality.

Data scientists can be expensive, but data-hungry academics are always looking for frontline partnerships, and bodies such as the OR Society run great pro-bono programmes to help.'

Thank you to Andy Hamflett, Co-founder and director of AAM Associates, for giving us a mention!

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Pro Bono and Software

Guest blog from Jon Tecwyn, Department of Energy and Climate Change

I have recently joined the steering committee for the Pro Bono O.R. scheme – a project which partners O.R. analysts with third sector organisations to provide free consultancy for a range of operational improvements and strategic planning projects. Projects generated so far have ranged from dog modelling to simulating shift patterns, measuring impact to supporter donation process mapping.

A variety of analytical and modelling techniques have been used so far, including:
·       discrete event simulation,
·       statistical analysis/data mining,
·       forecasting,
·       process modelling,
·       system dynamics.

My first suggestion as part of the committee was that we should provide O.R. analysts partaking in projects with an evolving list of software / tools which may help to solve different types of problem. These tools could be useful not only for those working on our 3rd sector projects but OR Society members looking to develop their all-round “O.R. toolkit”.

The list so far includes 14 tools across a range of areas:
·       Statistical analysis (e.g. PSPP, R)
·       Data visualisation (e.g. Vizable)
·       Programming languages (e.g. Python, Ruby)
·       Databases (e.g. PostGres, PostGIS)
·       Simulation (SimPy)
·       Mapping software (e.g. MapsData)


 MapsData: Mapping car crashes in the UK

The list is ever-evolving and we would welcome further contributions or to hear about any tools or software you have successfully used in the past. Ideally the software should be free to use. The list can be accessed here 
Please email any suggestions to felicity.mcleister@theorsociety.com.

If you want to find out more about volunteering for a project more information on the scheme is available here: http://www.theorsociety.com/probono


Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Identifying patient priorities - completed #ProBonoOR project with Bloodwise


Bloodwise is the UK's specialist blood cancer charity.

Bloodwise carried out a survey to more than a thousand patients with a view to understand their level of satisfaction throughout different stages of their blood cancer experience. This presented an opportunity to identify which stages were more important.

The survey was divided in different sections corresponding to different stages of the blood cancer experience like diagnosis, treatment, post- treatment ,etc

The analysis followed a two stage approach. For each section a statistical drivers of satisfaction analysis was carried out. Since most questions asked patients to rate areas of support we performed some exploratory analysis (looking at each area of support separately) to assess their impact driving patient satisfaction. Finally by means of regression trees the volunteer identified a hierarchy of importance and establish which areas of support are absolutely essential.

Moreover by means of decision trees the volunteer identified the best method of delivery for each area of support; the options were by a medical professional, on a written format such as a leaflet or through friend and family.


Further details of the project can be seen in the case study slide below.






Bloodwise commented: 'Understanding which areas of support are essential has allowed us to prioritise patient support initiatives.'


To find out more about Pro Bono O.R. please click here