Civil servants are often criticised for forming policy within the ‘Westminster bubble’, removed from the realities on the ground. A recent event hosted by the Institute for Government and the Big Lottery Fund, revealed examples of how policymakers and practitioners have tried to burst that bubble.
By profession I am an Emergency Medicine Doctor. I work for the Department of Work and Pensions advising on the medical implications of different benefits and policies. The story I’m about to tell you illustrates why I’ve become interested in Connecting Policy with Practice and what I’m learning on the programme so far.
Last week, my partner Jenny and I took part in our third Connecting Policy and Practice session at the Institute for Government. We were focused on refining our initial ideas into a concrete set of activities to take us through the next six months, and had the opportunity to ‘pitch’ to a challenge panel comprising of a senior civil servant, Big Lottery committee member and a journalist.
People's lives can be complicated, and their paths towards more stable, fulfilled futures can be difficult. Here Helen Ryman, Learning and Evaluation Manager at the Birmingham Voluntary Services Council, and current member of the Connecting Policy with Practice cohort, introduces her work for the programme and explores two different approaches to understanding the needs and assets of people with multiple...
On Friday, I visited the 999 Club in Deptford with Tamsyn Roberts of the Cabinet Office. We are constructing a business case for some of the services they offer – specifically those designed to reduce chaotic and repeated use of crisis health services.
I am on the train coming home from Hull with Andy Crossland from Humber Learning Consortium, my Connecting Policy with Practice partner. We have been spending time with members of the Talent Match Humber Core Partnership team finding out about their experience of making support for young people work on the ground. In one of those ‘silver lining’ moments, an IT system problem means that e-mails are not updating on my blackberry so I have time to reflect.
One of the things I enjoy about working on our Connecting Policy with Practice programme with the Big Lottery Fund is getting out of the Westminster bubble and visiting some of the organisations we’re working with.
In my day job, I talk to many different people about how government policy is playing out on the ground. Joined-up working and partnerships are the watch-words of the moment and have cropped up in the early discussions we’ve had in the Connecting Policy with Practice group. But as the conversation progresses, we inevitably get to some variant of “…but the biggest problem is data sharing” accompanied by a rolling of eyes and knowing nods from others in the room.
On Friday, Tamsyn Roberts and I met went to see the 999 Club, a centre on Deptford Broadway which is open to everyone, offering comfort, respite, advice and guidance to the most isolated, excluded and lonely people in society. We will be working with them over the next few months as part of the Connecting Policy with Practice programme.
Hello and welcome to this blog, which I am writing as part of my role in the IfG and Big Lottery Fund, Connecting Policy and Practice programme. The focus of these reports will be the research I am undertaking with Tamsyn Roberts from the Cabinet Office. Over the next few months, we’ll be exploring how charities like mine, Resolving Chaos, make outcomes measures meaningful to funders when working...