Influencing policy, driving change

Andy Phillips speaking at the conference

Andy Phillips, Head of Skills Research at the Observatory, in full flow

Andy Phillips and I ran a workshop last week at the Influencing Policy, Driving Change conference for the third sector. The event was jointly run by Regional Action West Midlands and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

As the title suggests, the purpose of the conference was to help equip the third sector (charities, social enterprises, and the voluntary and community sector) to influence policy effectively through campaigning, advocacy and providing innovative solutions to problems.

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Give us a Twirl!

twirlThe Observatory’s resource catalogue continues to grow, giving policy and decision makers across the West Midlands improved access to data and research to support evidence-based decision making.

The development and growth of the catalogue has been achieved by working in partnership with West Midlands and sub-regional organisations to help share and publicise data and research about the West Midlands. Organisations such as Coventry City Council, Centro and Advantage West Midlands have all worked with us to share their intelligence through the catalogue.

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Use your intelligence!

ncvo-eventAndy Phillips (our Head of Skills Research) and I will be running a workshop at the forthcoming “Influencing Policy, Driving Change” conference on 26 February 2009, organised by Regional Action West Midlands in partnership with the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

The event will help voluntary and community (VCS) organisations understand the policy environment and engage in local, regional and national decision-making so that their works brings about real change.

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Local information systems resource pack

InstantAtlas logoIf you’re interested in local information systems, and how mapping and data visualisation can inform planning of public services, have a look at GeoWise’s local information systems resource pack.

The resource pack pulls together lots of seminars, case studies and reference documents based on implementations of InstantAtlas, a geographic data visualisation tool, across local government and NHS organisations in England, Scotland and Wales in 2008.

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West Midlands Rural Affairs Forum Conference 2008

Man pinning information to a notice boardDelegates gathered at the Holiday Inn in Bromsgrove on 12th November 2008 for the fifth West Midlands Rural Affairs Forum conference.

The Observatory was asked to present at the event and talk about the State of the Region with particular reference to some of the key challenges likely to be faced by the region’s rural communities.

The main challenges facing the rural West Midlands are not new ones—ageing population and housing affordability in particular—nor are the rural parts of the region immune to the effects of the credit crunch but these challenges can often mask opportunities.

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