Tuesday, 14 December 2021

In Kind Direct - Measuring the number of people we support

Project Summary

Review, and design improvements to, the way In Kind Direct estimates the number of end users benefiting from the distribution of products.

Project description

In Kind Direct (IKD) distributes consumer goods, donated by companies, to UK charitable organisations in its network working in the UK and overseas. Working with corporate partners, it also passes on discounts on other types of products and services to its charitable network. 

One of the drivers that motivates both IKD and their corporate partners is knowing that their work ultimately benefits people in need and the charitable organisations supporting them, and it is therefore important to them to understand the scale of benefit.

However, as IKD does not work directly with end users of products it can only use indirect ways of assessing their numbers.  This is even more the case with charitable organisations who act as ‘Coordinating Partners’ with IKD and distribute products out to their member organisations who in turn pass them on to end-users. 

The data to derive a figure for number of end users benefiting is currently collected through:

  • a regular survey of IKD’s network;
  • e-commerce data on number of charitable organisations receiving products through its online platform;
  • manual records of charitable organisations receiving products through offline placements;
  • a survey of Coordinating Partners;
  • take up of some of the ‘affiliate’ products and service discount schemes.

The volunteer(s) are required to review the current methodology, the nature of the data, how the data collected is analysed and used, and whether there are any alternative sources of data that IKD could make use of, in order to make recommendations for whether and how IKD can develop more robust and dynamic measure(s) of the number of end users benefiting.

The expectation is that the deliverables will be a re-designed questionnaire, with associated recommendations for analysing the returns; re-worked calculations using IKD’s existing data and additional data sources to get an even better measure; and recommendations for other measures for number of end users benefiting in conjunction with the number of people receiving products.  However, this may be adjusted in the detailed project scoping or during the project.

The project could readily be undertaken by a single volunteer, but may also suit two volunteers working together.

The project will particularly suit a volunteer with experience of performance or outcome measurement.


Time commitmentThe actual time required will need to be agreed during the detailed scoping meeting between the volunteer(s) and IKD; and will depend on how well the existing methodology stands up to external scrutiny.  It may be as little as two person-days, and is not expected to exceed five person-days unless the recommendations include extensive questionnaire piloting, post-questionnaire analysis and review, or alternative non-questionnaire methods recommended

Location: The work can be done remotely.


If you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return along with your CV to ProBonoOR@theorsociety.com by Wednesday 5 January 2022.

The OR Society fully supports equal opportunities. As such, we welcome applications from the partially sighted or blind, or those with disabilities.

Information about the organisation: 

In Kind Direct is the UK charity distributing consumer goods donated by companies to UK charitable organisations working in the UK and overseas. Founded in 1996 by HRH The Prince of Wales, they offer a simple solution to connect companies and their products to thousands of charities, community groups, foodbanks and schools supporting our communities. Together they make a difference to 174,000 people each week.


For further information about In Kind Direct please visit www.inkinddirect.org

For further information about the Pro Bono OR scheme, please visit: www.theorsociety.com/Probono  or email ProBonoOR@theorsociety.com

British Trust for Ornithology - Ways of Working Review

Project Summary

The British Trust for Ornithology (BTO) has established a Ways of Working (WOW) Group and would value some OR volunteer input to help with a project to improve project processes. 

Project Description

The BTO is a UK charity that focuses on understanding birds and, in particular, how and why bird populations are changing. Their vision is of a world where people are inspired by birds and informed by science. BTO has a new CEO who is looking into improving ways of working. 

The organisation has identified some challenges in the way research projects are initiated, prioritised and allocated to scientists. Work comes in from multiple sources, with competing priorities, but there is a lack of coordination of resource planning and work allocation. MS Project is used for overall tracking of projects and timekeeping, but does not work well for resource planning.

The project would be suitable for a volunteer with experience of helping teams define and structure messy problems. Knowledge of resource modelling and/or managing programmes and multiple projects would be useful. 

Location

All work can be done remotely. The BTO office is based in Thetford, Norfolk.

Commitment

Time commitment to be determined by volunteer(s) when completing detailed project scope with the BTO.

The BTO would like this support ASAP in 2022. Possible support approach could be:

  • Familiarisation with BTO & WOW group;
  • Information gathering on current challenges with managing and resourcing research projects;
  • Facilitating problem definition, scoping and prioritization sessions;
  • Developing recommendations for ways forward;
  • Presentation/Report to Senior Leadership Team (SLT).

Initial support to the WOW group could be 4-5 days.

Desired project start date

As soon as convenient, ideally Jan 2022, to be agreed between BTO and volunteer(s).

Desired project completion date

To be agreed between BTO and the volunteer(s).

Apply

If you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return along with your CV to ProBonoOR@theorsociety.com by Wednesday 5 January 2022.

The OR Society fully supports equal opportunities. As such, we welcome applications from the partially sighted or blind, or those with disabilities.

Information about the organisation

The BTO strive to achieve their vision by harnessing the skills and passion of thousands of volunteers to advance their understanding of ornithology, in particular, through their bird surveys and schemes. They combine the resulting scientific outputs with interesting stories and powerful images to engage more people in this work and to inspire people to take action. Working in partnership with volunteers, they have been monitoring the UK’s birds since 1933 and have extended their coverage to include other wildlife too.

For further information about the BTO please visit www.bto.org

Information about Pro Bono OR

For further information about the Pro Bono OR scheme, please visit: www.theorsociety.com/Probono  or email ProBonoOR@theorsociety.com

Friday, 26 November 2021

Porchlight - A Better Helpline: improving the effectiveness and efficiency of call response


Project Summary

Review the data produced by Porchlight’s helpline system, and advise on its use; especially to improve triaging of callers, and better match staffing to demand. 

Project Description

The first contact that most potential clients have with Porchlight is through Porchlight’s helpline (which Porchlight also operates on behalf of other homeless services in Kent). 

People call with a wide variety of needs, which can vary from routine non-urgent to high-risk, such as those who may be suicidal or at imminent risk of violence in the home.

Porchlight would like to systematically analyse the data available from the telephone system, and understand how it can be used to support planning and decision-making. In particular Porchlight would like to use the data (and if necessary collect additional data) to:

  • review and improve the triage and signposting practices, to ensure that the right response service is engaged, and with the appropriate level of urgency;
  • improve the match of staffing to caller demand; including understanding how operational decisions (for example introducing an extra service, or having an awareness-boosting campaign) affect numbers and types of callers, and how that can be managed.
The project could readily be undertaken by a single volunteer, but may also suit two or more volunteers working together. It may also be undertaken in stages, with data analysis as the first stage, and subsequent stages including triage and staffing taken forward in the light of that analysis.

The project will particularly suit a volunteer with experience of modelling and analysing call centre operations, but as long as the volunteer has experience of appropriate consultancy, modelling and analysis methods, specific call centre experience is not necessary. 

Location

All work can be done remotely. Porchlight is based in (and serves) Kent, and staff would welcome physical meetings with anyone based within easy travelling distance.

Commitment

Time commitment to be determined by volunteer(s) when completing detailed project scope with Porchlight.

Desired project start date

As soon as convenient, to be agreed between Porchlight and volunteer(s).

Desired project completion date

To be agreed, but significant progress by end-March 2022, to support Porchlight’s retendering for a major contract.

Apply

If you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return along with your CV to ProBonoOR@theorsociety.com by Monday 13 December 2021.

The OR Society fully supports equal opportunities. As such, we welcome applications from the partially sighted or blind, or those with disabilities.

Information about the organisation

Porchlight is Kent's leading homelessness charity. They work with people who are living on the streets, in supported housing and in local communities. They work with more than 9000 individuals and families every year. They help people to reach their full potential by breaking down the barriers to housing, mental and physical health, work, education, financial independence or daily living skills.

For further information about Porchlight please visit www.porchlight.org.uk

Information about Pro Bono OR

For further information about the Pro Bono OR scheme, please visit: www.theorsociety.com/Probono  or email ProBonoOR@theorsociety.com

Tuesday, 24 August 2021

NSPCC: Climate change and child safeguarding

Project Summary

Develop a model or map of the future potential impact of climate change on child abuse and neglect; and as far as evidence allows, populate it to assess possible future risk level. 


Project Description

The NSPCC’s aim is to prevent child abuse. It would like to understand the increased risks to children as a result of climate change, looking particularly at the next 10 years or so in the UK. 

The work is expected to involve:

  • Meetings/workshops with NSPCC staff and review of the literature, to gain an understanding of the known or suspected linkages between the climate crisis and risks of child and adolescent abuse, neglect and exploitation, from within or outside families (including also the impact of climate change on key risk drivers and mitigants, such as parental stressors and services’ ability to effectively safeguard children and adolescents);
  • Producing a model bringing this evidence together – potentially in the form of an influence or causal loop diagram, system dynamics model, or other mapping or mathematical model showing impact over time. The extent to which the model can be quantified, or populated, will depend on the nature and extent of evidence;
  • Providing an explanatory report (including documentation if need be) of any model or map/diagram produced.

It is expected that the work will be iterative, with an initial relatively simple high-level model/diagram based on ‘quick-and-dirty’ collection of information, through working with NSPCC staff and a short trawl of the literature; followed by more thorough exploration and detailed modelling if there is sufficient volunteer time.

Skills needed include: elicitation of expert views (experience of facilitating online workshops will be particularly helpful); model-building (causal loop/influence diagramming and system dynamics capability are likely to be useful, but other approaches may also work well); literature review.  Prior knowledge of risk factors around child and adolescent abuse/neglect and criminal exploitation would be extremely useful, but is not required.  Knowledge of climate change research may also be helpful.

This project is particularly suited to a number of volunteers working together so if you are interested but only have some of the required skills, please get in touch.


Location: All the work can be done remotely.

Commitment: This is flexible, depending on the availability and the number of volunteers (as noted above, the project would be particularly suited to a group of volunteers).  The minimum time requirement is 5 person-days: to (i) provide a first iteration of a high-level model or diagram, based on one workshop with NSPCC staff and a rapid review of a small number of literature sources; (ii) undertake a quick assessment of the conclusions supported by the model (if any); and (iii) hold a follow-up discussion and handover meeting. More, up to 20-30 person days, would enable a more thorough trawl of the literature, more sophisticated modelling with more thorough validation, more exploration of insights provided by the modelling, and provision of a written report and any necessary documentation. In any case, the specific time commitment and deliverables will be agreed between the volunteer(s) and NSPCC as part of the Terms of Reference.

Desired project start date: October 2021

Desired project completion date: December 2021


Apply:
If you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return along with your CV to ProBonoOR@theorsociety.com by Wednesday 29 September 2021.

The OR Society fully supports equal opportunities. As such, we welcome applications from the partially sighted or blind, or those with disabilities.

Information about the organisation: 

The NSPCC is the UK's leading children’s charity. They’ve been looking out for children for over 130 years. From campaigns to services - they strive to make a difference in everything they do. 

For further information about the NSPCC please visit www.nspcc.org.uk

For further information about the Pro Bono OR scheme, please visit: www.theorsociety.com/Probono  or email ProBonoOR@theorsociety.com

Thursday, 19 August 2021

Economic Impact Assessment of BLAST fest: culturally inclusive science festivals

Project Summary

Scoping an Economic Impact Assessment of BLAST fest. 
What are the benefits and costs of culturally inclusive science festivals?


Project Description

BLAST Fest is a pop-up festival and community engagement platform that explores science and technology through Black arts and cultural spaces.

The aim of this project will be to scope an economic impact assessment to measure the benefits and costs of BLAST Fest’s initiatives.  Working with the Director of BLAST Fest and other stakeholders, the volunteer will set the framework for how the costs and benefits can be evidenced qualitatively and quantitatively, including impacts of investment in the communities served, as well as what might be the impact in the absence of STEM and innovation development in these communities. The framework may include what data collection or stakeholder engagement needs to be conducted to enable a viable economic impact assessment and how this assessment can be used to make funding decisions.


Location: All the work can be done remotely (Blast Fest is based in Birmingham).  The volunteer will need to be able to access video meetings.

Commitment: 5 days worth of work over a few months.

Desired project start date: October 2021

Desired project completion date: December 2021


Apply:
If you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return along with your CV to ProBonoOR@theorsociety.com by Wednesday 29 September 2021.

The OR Society fully supports equal opportunities. As such, we welcome applications from the partially sighted or blind, or those with disabilities.

Information about the organisation: 

BLAST Fest is a pop-up festival and community engagement platform that explores science and technology through Black arts and cultural spaces. The organization uses a ‘flipped engagement’ approach, where the ideas for science engagement are generated and initiated from within the community, and BLAST Fest then ‘reaches out’ to the STEM sector to help co-create an exciting programme of activities and events.

For further information about the BLAST Fest UK please visit www.blastfest.org.uk

For further information about the Pro Bono OR scheme, please visit: www.theorsociety.com/Probono  or email ProBonoOR@theorsociety.com

Stakeholder engagement evaluation of BLAST fest: culturally inclusive science festivals

Project Summary

Delivering a structure for an evaluation of BLAST Fest’s stakeholder engagement and social innovation leadership to inform their future strategy.


Project Description

BLAST Fest is a pop-up festival and community engagement platform that explores science and technology through Black arts and cultural spaces.

The aim of this project will be to structure an evaluation of BLAST Fest’s stakeholder engagement and social innovation leadership in order to inform their future strategy and funding decisions.  These stakeholders include scientists, researchers, engineers and artists who have contributed to BLAST Fest events and those who have signed up to attend the events or receive news about them. Through facilitated workshops, surveys and/or other techniques, the volunteer will draw together qualitative (and where possible, quantitative) evidence to inform a thematic analysis or theory of change of how BLAST Fest’s stakeholder engagement and social innovation leadership delivers value in terms of impact and inclusion, including indicators to measure outcomes. 

Previous experience of evaluation would be desirable.


Location: All the work can be done remotely (Blast Fest is based in Birmingham).  The volunteer will need to be able to access video meetings.

Commitment: 5 days worth of work over a few months.

Desired project start date: October 2021

Desired project completion date: December 2021


Apply:
If you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return along with your CV to ProBonoOR@theorsociety.com by Wednesday 29 September 2021.

The OR Society fully supports equal opportunities. As such, we welcome applications from the partially sighted or blind, or those with disabilities.

Information about the organisation: 

BLAST Fest is a pop-up festival and community engagement platform that explores science and technology through Black arts and cultural spaces. The organization uses a ‘flipped engagement’ approach, where the ideas for science engagement are generated and initiated from within the community, and BLAST Fest then ‘reaches out’ to the STEM sector to help co-create an exciting programme of activities and events.

For further information about the BLAST Fest UK please visit www.blastfest.org.uk

For further information about the Pro Bono OR scheme, please visit: www.theorsociety.com/Probono  or email ProBonoOR@theorsociety.com

Thursday, 8 July 2021

Home Start Kirklees - Development of a volunteer recruitment strategy

Project Summary

Mapping clients and volunteers in order to develop a strategy for volunteer recruitment.


Project description

Home-Start Kirklees is a volunteer led family support charity helping families with young children. They want to develop a strategy for recruiting volunteers. They wish to examine the location and specific demographics (such as language and cultural needs) of clients with the aim of recruiting volunteers to match. 

It is anticipated that the volunteer (or volunteers) will:

·     Have a start-up meeting with the Senior Management team to discuss project requirements and data availability;

·     Specify data requirements and obtain anonymised data;

·     Analyse the information held by Home-Start Kirklees on the families they support, and the volunteers they currently have;

·     Examine possible free-to-use mapping tools and select an appropriate tool;

·     Map the information on clients and current volunteers;

·     Possibly compare the information from Home-Start with the demographics of Kirklees;

·     Produce a report summarising findings which can be used in development of a recruitment strategy;

·     If feasible, provide Home-Start Kirklees with a mapping tool containing up-to-date information on current clients and volunteers together with a user-guide on how to update this.

This project would suit one or a team of junior analysts wanting to develop their wider OR skills.


Location: Although the project is based in Kirklees and an initial face-to-face meeting would be preferable, all work could be carried out remotely.

Commitment: 5 days worth of work over a few months.


Apply:
If you feel you are able to offer your assistance please complete the application form and return along with your CV to ProBonoOR@theorsociety.com by 26 July 2021.

The OR Society fully supports equal opportunities. As such, we welcome applications from the partially sighted or blind, or those with disabilities.

Information about the organisation: 

Home-Start Kirklees works across communities to provide support for families with young children who are experiencing difficulties. They recruit and train volunteers to offer practical and emotional support in the homes of families who are struggling to cope for a variety of different reasons.

For further information about the Home Start Kirklees please visit www.homestart-kirklees.org.uk

For further information about the Pro Bono OR scheme, please visit: www.theorsociety.com/Probono  or email ProBonoOR@theorsociety.com

In Kind Direct - Measuring the number of people we support

Project Summary Review, and design improvements to, the way In Kind Direct estimates the number of end users benefiting from the distributio...