Would your organisation benefit from free statistical help?

Noor-ul-HassanNoor-ul-Hassan Sarodia is a government statistician at the Department for Work and Pensions. He is working with two fellow government statisticians to organise and promote the Voluntary Sector Placement Scheme.

When it comes to demonstrating your organisation’s impact to the people who matter, the ability to understand and communicate your data is essential. Effective statistical analysis can help you decide where to direct your resources or where you should focus your research.

This year, the Government Statistical Service (GSS) is partnering again with NCVO for its Voluntary Sector Placement Scheme. The scheme matches voluntary sector organisations requiring support with government statisticians, for placements of up to five days. This is a fantastic opportunity for the voluntary sector to benefit from the statistical expertise within government, while also providing the chance for government statisticians to learn more about the voluntary sector and how statistics are used.

What could a government statistician do for you?

There are a number of skills government statisticians have which can benefit voluntary sector organisations.  Examples of the types of statistical work you can benefit from include:

  • Help to design, conduct or analyse a survey of volunteers, service users or members.
  • Identification and analysis of existing, available datasets on a particular topic and advice on how your organisation can interpret and use this information.
  • Improvements in handling large datasets through recommendations on how data can be recorded, stored and used more efficiently

Building on last year’s success

Last year’s scheme successfully matched over 40 organisations with statisticians and led to productive outcomes for both. Two case studies from last year’s scheme are detailed below.

Foundation for Social Improvement

The Foundation for Social Improvement is an organisation that gives small charities the strategic support they need to keep running.

Madeleine May from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport spent five days helping to deliver a comprehensive research project assessing the charity’s members’ skills gaps and difficulties filling vacancies.

According to the organisation, having Madeleine on board was ‘a huge asset’. Her experience in analysing data proved invaluable, and she was able save the charity a great deal of time by completing the task within a week. In addition to this, the organisation said Madeleine ‘put in place the structure to allow us to replicate the level of assessment for future years.’

Healthwatch Central West London

Healthwatch works to influence the planning and delivery of publicly-funded health and social care services in Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, and Westminster.

Robert Drake from the Department of Education helped the charity to change their patient story database, which is used to produce reports for commissioners. After three days, Robert had made changes to the database that made it:

  • quicker and easier to record data more consistently
  • easier to present data, as well as making that data much more accessible.

He also ‘provided great support to our quality manager, meaning we can monitor the local NHS patient experience and outcome measures in a more efficient and robust manner.’

Want to find out more?

If your organisation is interested in participating in the upcoming scheme, please visit the website. All voluntary organisations are welcome to apply and you don’t need to be a member of NCVO either. Applications will be open from 28 September 2015 until 23 October 2015. We look forward to hearing from you!

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2 Responses to Would your organisation benefit from free statistical help?

  1. We have read, and would like to benefit from the above mentioned free statistical support being offered in Noor-ul-Hassan Sarodia’s article. Unfortunately we cannot find a link to the original application form this evening. Would it be possible for you to forward the link and/or the application form as soon as possible please?
    Regards
    Ian Sharples
    Riversiders Trust Treasurer