Presentations, resources, and links to information from our Giving Time event on 19 November 2015 in Birmingham are now available. CLICK HERE to read and download.
Giving time – can volunteers be nudged? A learning event about the Giving Time study – randomised experiments in interventions to encourage volunteering
10.30am – 4.00pm Thursday 19 November 2015, The Bond, Birmingham
In the latest of our ongoing series of free learning and networking events we are delighted to be working with the project team who led the Giving Time research into voluteering and volunteer recruitment.
The Giving Time experiments were led by a team from four UK universities, who wanted to know whether sharing information about how others have volunteered could help to improve volunteering. Whereas previous studies have looked at giving money, this was about giving time – and whether volunteers can be nudged. The methodology was randomised control trial in real-life field settings involving university student volunteers, Parish Councils, National Trust volunteers, and housing association residents. The research was funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
A day designed to provoke discussion and ideas
We will have contributions from the research team, from organisations who took part, and others involved in citizen science, story-telling, and community animation. Presenters and participants will mingle in fast-paced workshops ranging from Q&As, to participative and arts-inspired formats. Focal questions will include:
On 8 July, 64 people descended on Birmingham to hear and share stories of localism and co-production as the culmination of a month of activities exploring research into models of localism and co-production undertaken over the previous two years by researchers from the Universities of Manchester and Birmingham.
Read more about the day, the research that prompted it, resources shared and reflections captured here. Get a flavour of the stories shared from the visual minutes below.
This post was originally written to share some of the lessons learned during a study visit by residents of Big Local areas to Leigh West to explore local strategies to improve housing. We are publishing it here partly because we think it might be of wider interest, but also because it is quite long. A shorter version will be published on the Local Trust web site. The study visit was organised by NANM as part of our support for networking and learning between Big Local areas. You can find out more about Big Local by visiting the Local Trust web site.
On the 24 and 25 February 2014, 13 people from six Big Local areas travelled to Leigh West to take part in the Improving housing – Big Local study visit. It was a fascinating visit during which we were shown around the local area by residents of Leigh West Big Local (Leigh Neighbours), heard from Wigan Housing Solutions, a local social enterprise lettings agency working in the area, as well as from Lancashire Community Finance about their approach to low cost home improvement finance, and North Huyton Communities Future about how they are using national Empty Homes funding to renovate empty homes to rent to families in need. We were also taken through the process of developing a neighbourhood plan by Urban Vision, an architecture and built environment centre, and heard from an architect at the URBED cooperative about a couple of community-led housing projects in Liverpool. You can see slides from most of the presentations on the NANM SlideShare site, along with some photos and video on the Local Trust Flickr and YouTube channels.
But what was really noticeable was how all of the areas present identified problems in the private rented sector as a barrier to improving housing in their communities. It is this common experience that I want to focus on in this blog post.
What does effective representation and accountability look like ? Does it look the same at local authority, ward and neighbourhood level? Can academic theory and research help? If there are differences, do we have the language to discuss them?
The next NANM open space workshop, Five models of localism: which are you?, is on Wednesday, 4 December 2013, 10:30 to 15:30 (coffee from 10:00) at The University of Manchester, Sackville Street Campus (nr Manchester Piccadilly Station), Manchester. You can book on-line at Eventbrite.
In their recent paper Who is accountable in localism? Liz Richardson (University of Manchester) and Catherine Durose (University of Birmingham) identify five models of local accountability based on new research and a review of existing literature. They call their first model the ‘British Political Tradition’ in which power and influence is hierarchical and public agencies see citizen involvement happening mainly at local elections when the public’s role is either as voter, or candidate. Community participation efforts therefore focus only on encouraging more people to stand for election, or to turn out and vote.
At the other end of their scale they describe a model which constantly seeks the public’s involvement as decision makers and problem solvers. In this model, local public bodies see power as coming from many directions and their own role is one of mobiliser, enabler, and convenor.
It is self-evident most of those involved in neighbourhood working aspire to an enabling model. But how can we test the extent that practical experiences of communities match what we aspire to?
That is the question that we’ll explore during the workshop.
To start Liz Richardson will introduce us to the five models she and Catherine Durose have proposed, and explain how they are intended as a practical guide or diagnostic to enable others to test what models of local accountability exist in practice.
We will then convene open space discussions to enable participants to identify which model they think they are working in themselves. This will be a participative day and we hope everyone attending will contribute from their own first hand experiences.
You can find out more about the event and book your place on our page on Eventbrite.
We have funding to cover the costs of this event, which means we can make it free to attend. But we will gratefully accept contributions towards the cost of catering and logistics. Our suggested contribution is £10, which would also entitle you to become a member of the NANM for two years from the date of the event.