Helping clients exceed expectations – especially their own!
These are just a few examples of the diverse clients that I’ve worked with to find creative solutions to challenging problems. These particular case studies have been chosen, from among many others, to give you insights into what the Evaluate, Envision and Evolve packages can look like in practice.
I’m always open to exploring new areas of work, so if there’s something in these case studies that catches your eye but you’re in a completely different sector, please don’t hesitate to book a call to chat about your program and how I can help you!
University Chaplaincy: Evaluating intangible outcomes
I was commissioned by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of a university to evaluate the effectiveness of the Chaplaincy team. This was a high priority for the university because of its Christian foundation, and had become urgent, due to an imminent leadership change. Using participatory methods, I worked with the Chaplaincy team to identify six core values, and define indicators that would determine whether each value was being translated into action. I then designed a self-assessment strategy that enabled the team to showcase ‘intangible’ achievements, as well as identifying challenges and opportunities, and sparked productive conversations with senior management. I also designed and conducted a separate evaluation for an innovative co-curricular program, which had been developed by the Chaplaincy to encourage students to explore life’s big questions.
Independent School: Evaluating compliance in preparation for OFSTED
I conducted a full audit of policies and procedures for an independent school that was achieving exceptional academic and social/emotional outcomes for its students, but had still been given a ‘Requires improvement’ grade at its last OFSTED inspection. The Headteacher was aware that there were many things that still needed to be improved before the impending inspection, but didn’t know where to start.
The audit identified several areas in which the school was meeting or exceeding required standards in practice, but hadn’t made this clear in its published policies and procedures, which often referred to outdated legislation. Corrections were duly made and the school received an overall grade of ‘Good’, with an ‘Outstanding’ rating for student behaviour and welfare. Result: happy Headteacher!
Multi-Stakeholder Project: Evaluating research impact
I was asked by the Principal Investigators of a complex research project with a £1.5m budget, which brought together academics, design professionals, religious institutions, voluntary organisations and the public sector, to help the core team to develop an effective system for measuring and capturing impact. I began by working closely with the team to co-develop an Impact Framework that incorporated both the outcomes which were valued most highly by the funder, and those that were of prime importance to the core delivery team.
Having a clear vision of desired impacts shifted the project from an ad hoc approach to data collection to a values-centred strategic planning approach – designing project activities proactively to ensure that certain types of impact were both achieved and captured. It’s also enabled the team to rethink some of their assumptions, create more effective resources, and compile a strong case study for the Research Excellence Framework.
Artists and Academics: Envisioning successful collaborations
In partnership with the digital consultancy Fossbox, I designed and delivered a combined training and evaluation package for a social enterprise that was making small grants to artists and creative businesses, in order to fund collaborative projects with early career researchers (ECRs). Through a combination of online and face-to-face training, I helped each of the 26 artist-ECR teams to identify what a successful collaboration would look and feel like for them – not just in the sense of what they wanted to achieve, but how they hoped to work together. Each team identified three ‘Principles of Collaboration’, which served as a basis for reflection and self-evaluation.
Hampshire Police: Evolving understanding of gender diversity
I’ve worked with Hampshire Police to offer Continuing Professional Development training to all the Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officers (LAGLOs) in Hampshire, and some from Thames Valley, on the subject of gender diversity.
In addition to sharing my own story of coming out as a trans man, I explained the meaning of gender-related terminology (including a diverse range of non-binary identities), advised the officers on how to be better allies to trans and non-binary people, and explained some of the ongoing issues and controversies affecting trans people’s lives. The Inspector responsible for LAGLO training described the session as follows:
“Ash attended our CPD day for our team of Lesbian and Gay Liaison Officers and spoke about his journey and gave a detailed input on gender non-binary and trans identities. Our team thought his input was fantastic, everyone took away some valuable learning around gender identity and the evolution of language used. Ash brought the input to life through some moving personal insights and experiences. I’d highly recommend Ash to any organisation looking to develop their team’s knowledge and awareness on diversity and inclusion.”
Communities: Evolving deep participation in policy-making and change
I’m passionate about community engagement and participation, especially for women, LGBTQ+ and BME communities, Indigenous Peoples and religious minorities, and have worked with so many amazing people that it’s difficult to pick one or two case studies – so here are just a few ‘headlines’ for some of the things I’ve done over the years…
- Helped Indigenous youth in Tanzania to set up a non-governmental organisation from scratch, obtain a United Nations grant, and make short documentaries
- Supported Learning Support Assistants to establish a working group for contributing meaningfully to the development of school policies
- Facilitated workshops with Somali women who use the services of a London-based charity, enabling them to set the strategic agenda for the charity for 2017-2020
- Worked with participants in an International Healers’ Exchange in India (a diverse group including shamans, herbalists, traditional bone-setters, spiritual healers and many others) to co-develop a consensus statement and policy brief
- Empowered Tanzanian community leaders, activists, midwives, teachers, parents and teenage girls to work together to find their own solutions to the problems of HIV/AIDS and female genital mutilation, using the arts and non-violent communication
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