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Seizing the opportunity for a strategic shift by charities tackling child poverty

Charlotte Lamb

NPC occupies a unique position between charities and their funders, and is committed to using this position to influence charities’ and funders’ response to the Covid-19 outbreak. We have already embarked on a programme of work in this area: Developed high-level guidance for philanthropists and foundations to inform their response to the coronavirus outbreak; written an open letter to philanthropists in the FT calling for them to respond quickly and courageously, and for government to support this response; and published an open data platform to inform funders’ responses and allocation of resources geographically, based on live demand data from charities.… Read more “Seizing the opportunity for a strategic shift by charities tackling child poverty”
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Should we build an app?

Charlotte Lamb

Today, I’ve been at ‘Ignites’, NPC’s annual conference. Our Digital Lead, Alex Green ran a session called ‘Should you build an app?’. He said that there are over four million apps out there – which sounds like a lot to me! He also made the point that apps don’t just cost money to develop, but they cost a lot of money to run, promote, and upgrade. So building an app isn’t always the answer! And there might be another digital solution to a problem. Alex took us through several tools used in the UX world to think about tackling user… Read more “Should we build an app?”

Budgeting an agile, collaborative project

Charlotte Lamb

So far, this phase of My Best Life has been funded by a generous grant from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation. As this is a collaborative project, we expect a significant proportion of our budget for this project to go to partners delivering the work with us. However, it is difficult to allocate funding to partners when the scope of the work is still being defined. At the same time – we don’t expect partners to work on this without adequate resources to do so! So, we are breaking various parts of the project down into stages. We have started by… Read more “Budgeting an agile, collaborative project”
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Defining and choosing a user group – who do we mean by ‘young people’?

Charlotte Lamb

So far on this project, we have been talking about ‘young people’. But this is a broad definition. For a start, there are millions of young people! ‘young people’ does not specify an age group. A child is anyone under the age of 18. The United Nations considers anyone between the ages of 15 – 24 a ‘youth’. But charities working with young people in the UK help young people in much more varied age ranges. Then we have been asking ourselves – do we mean all young people? Or are we seeking to work with those who have specific… Read more “Defining and choosing a user group – who do we mean by ‘young people’?”

Talking to funders about failure

Charlotte Lamb

It is hard to talk about failure: what hasn’t worked, what didn’t go so well, and when you had regroup and change tactic. For many grantees, it can feel particularly hard to talk to their funders about this. I think sometimes there is a feeling that you want to impress, you want to assure that things are going well, and you don’t want to scare them away. That’s why its so valuable when a funder accepts that this is part of the process, sees it as valuable learning, and encourages grantees to share this. We are grateful to the Paul… Read more “Talking to funders about failure”

What’s the point of working in the open?

Charlotte Lamb

The MBL team are trying to follow CAST’s Digital Design Principles. One of them is ‘be open’. We started NPC Labs to do just that. Through it we want to share our learning, so others can build on it and learn from our mistakes. It’s also about being transparent, so others can feedback on our work, and improve it. But being open is also about listening. We are keen to hear from you – what are you working on? what have you learnt? what do you think of our work?… Read more “What’s the point of working in the open?”

You don’t need a formal partnership to collaborate

Charlotte Lamb

Collaboration was always going to be key for the second phase of My Best Life. My experience of collaboration has often been through a formal partnership between certain organisations. When we set out, I had this in mind – and it is still a possibility. But when we started to go down that route, we realised it was too early to form a partnership. We didn’t have a clear enough objective. At the same time, we wanted to define our objective collectively. It seemed like a catch 22! But then we thought – you don’t need a formal partnership to… Read more “You don’t need a formal partnership to collaborate”
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When can services be digital? When do they have to be ‘in real life’?

Charlotte Lamb

People in the digital and youth space are wondering in what context, for what services, and with what characteristics could services for young people be digital? On the flip side, where will only a face to face intervention do? As a sector, do we have a good idea of this? What is your experience? Please share!… Read more “When can services be digital? When do they have to be ‘in real life’?”