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Future contacts…

April 1, 2010

This is what’s happening to the work areas…

Design

Design Review service continuing – new contact details to be added

Funding 

The East Midlands Funding Forum will be continuing and is to be facilitated by Social Enterprise East Midlands (SEEM) . The work of the EMFF will move away from providing skills and experience in training to focusing in Contact for further information upon the EMFF can be through SEEM (Telephone 0115 871 4760)

East Midlands Funding Advice Network will be continuing and the FAN Manager, Jonny Gutteridge will be moving to One East Midlands as the new hosts for the project in April. There will be plenty of networking events and training opportunities coming up for Funding Advisers in the region. Telephone no. for One East Midlands 0115 934 8471)

Intelligence East Midlands

See here for achievements. www.intelligenceeastmidlands.org.uk may continue so worth checking from time to time but emda have set up: www.emda.org.uk/research. This section of their website holds a range of evidence, research reports and papers both developed or commissioned by emda to inform organisational thinking and wider policy making. This includes evidence and research developed to form the Evidence Base which underpins the Regional Economic Strategy and future Regional Strategy.

Analytical skills and newtorks of customer insight & research practitioners – the Regional Improvement and Efficiency Partnership are leading a project to look at these requirements in the East Midlands and run some training. Contact is Rachel Moreton (a former IEM co-ordinator) who can be contacted by email rmoreton1@googlemail.com.

Skills and Urban Partnership Group

Report here

The hosted services have moved to the South West: Association of Regional Observatories website is here and the Sustainable Communities Excellence Network website is here

Cultural Observatory

Historically REM hosted the East Midlands Cultural Observatory. See this post for details of the East Midlands Cultural Partnership.

Funding and Community Engagement

March 31, 2010

Funding and Community Engagement

Funding and Community Engagement.doc

East Midlands Cultural Partners

March 31, 2010

Cultural_Doc.pdf

UPG&Skills – report

March 30, 2010

UPG&SkillsFinalAnnualReport.doc

SCEN – report

March 30, 2010

SCENAnnualReport.doc

IEM and ARO – report

March 30, 2010

IEMAnnualReport.doc

Thanks for the REMories – what I’ve learned and where I’m going…

March 26, 2010

Today is my last day at Regeneration East Midlands, which as you will already be aware is closing on 31st March. I’ve been very lucky to work here for the last two and a quarter years with some great colleagues who have given me some fantastic opportunities.

Hazel will be posting after the weekend on who will be picking up IEM’s work after REM closes. In the mean time, thought I would leave my ‘last post’ reflecting on my time here and letting you know what I’m up to now. It’s fair to say that all the projects I am continuing with post-REM have their roots in my time here.

Climate change policy implementation in the East Midlands: this will be taking up most of my time from now on, researching for a PhD at University of Nottingham. The project was initiated by REM, who jointly supported it with the Economic and Social Research Council under their CASE scheme. I am pleased to say that the East Midlands Regional Assembly (who become East Midlands Councils after March 31st) are enthusiastically taking up the supporting role being vacated by REM.

You can keep up to date with progress in the research at the project blog http://realiseclimate.org/

Effective communication training: safe to say I had no interest in presentation skills, either of data or slides, before arriving here. And while an attempt to lure Edward Tufte over to speak ended in disappointment, the data presentation guru’s influence grew within the Intelligence team, resulting in the Data Presentation Masterclass run by ARO’s Nicola Underdown (who sat with the Intelligence team) and the IEM Effective Communication course which I designed with Nicola and was enthusiastically received when we ran it in December.

Nicola and I are running the course again in Birmingham on April 22nd which is open to colleagues from this region. The course fills a huge gap within the training on offer to the public sector, and hopefully we will have the opportunity to deliver again in the future (not least as we really enjoy doing it!). We’ll be posting updates of resources and future training on http://effcomm.posterous.com/

Blogging: setting up this blog for REM was a fascinating and ultimately very rewarding project; a great learning experience for all involved. I was particularly happy to get such full-blooded support from our Chief Executive, Evan Rees, who quickly recognised that it represented a cheap and easy way of communicating with partners and the general public in a less formal way. Although blogging is no longer in its infancy, I’d still argue it’s sorely underused in the public sector – although there are now some very good examples of it being used within central government.

It ties in with the urgent need for public sector organisations to get their act together on effective communications. In a society which will be short of money for the foreseeable future, you can be sure that public sector organisations will come under increasing scrutiny that they are offering the public value for money. If an organisation can tell the public clearly and succinctly about the job they are doing (with taxpayers’ money), it will be an invaluable help in securing their ongoing support. This shouldn’t be taken to mean increasing spend on PR and press officers; there are a lot of very cheap, and often free, ways of getting the message out there; blogging is just one of them.

OK, that’s enough ranting from me, if you want to get in touch in the future would leave to hear from you, please drop me a mail at warren <at> realiseclimate.org or on the Twitter I’m @warrenpearce.

Bye!

Learning needs analysis for funding advisors

February 19, 2010

As part of our work to develop East Midlands Funding Advice Network (EMFAN) we have completed a report about the learning needs of funding advisors.  The EMFAN project will soon be moving to a new host and will then begin a learning programme to respond to the needs identified in the analysis.

Please have a look at the report if you are a funding advisor or development  worker – voluntary, public or private sector – and have a think about what it means for you and your service.  If there is more you would like to say about training, skills and knowledge we want to hear from you – the process of identifying learning needs doesn’t stop here.

Incidentally we used http://www.surveymonkey.com to run our survey and had a great response, with 111 people taking part and the vast majority of these making it to the end of what was a pretty lengthy survey.  Thank you to all those who took part.

View this document on Scribd

Environmental boundaries and the economy – ARO Network report

January 27, 2010

As promised, here’s the first part of the ARO network report, covering speakers from New Economics Foundation (NEF) and Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA)


Dr. Eva Neizart from NEF spoke on the Regional Index of Sustainable Wellbeing (R-ISEW); an alternative measure of a region’s performance to the traditional Gross Domestic Product and Gross Value Added. The R-ISEW has been developed by NEF with the regional development agencies (RDAs), led by East Midlands Development Agency. Eva began by noting that a colleague of her’s had floated a similar idea for a presentation to an RDA four years ago only to be told that they weren’t interested! Clearly thinking has moved on, at least a little, in the intervening years.

To remain within our environmental limits and ensure global social justice, NEF calculate that the UK’s GDP must fall by 25% by 2050 on today’s levels. Eva acknowledged that this isn’t a very easy sell (!), and used that as a springboard for an alternative means of measuring our progress as a society. GDP is actually a hangover from measuring national production during World War II, and criticism of its continued use is by no means new. However, climate change’s emergence as a major policy issue has sharpened these concerns in recent years.

The R-ISEW adjusts GDP for negative effects such as those on the environment and society while adding in the value of positive factors which aren’t included, such as voluntary work, health and education expenditure (Wikipedia has useful, basic explainer here). It is currently being used alongside GDP and GVA by RDAs includng our own. In recent evidence to the East Midlands Regional Committee the index is still described as “relatively new” with central government still judging RDA performance through GDP measurement.

This reflects a fundamental issue raised by this discussion. For measures other than GDP to become politically acceptable, a more open debate about our aspirations and priorities as a society is needed. There is also a challenge for economists to come up with a model for the kind of managed ‘de-growth’ implied by a move away from GDP.

Stephen Hall from DEFRA touched on these themes in a presentation on government’s sustainable development indicators. Rather than taking a number of different aspects of sustainability and rolling them into a single index, DEFRA have opted to maintain a suite of separate indicators measuring factors as diverse as individuals’ feelings about their own actions, access to green space and mental health.

Publishing a slimmed down set of ‘wellbeing’ indicators did indeed spark the kind of debate referred to by Eva Neizart, with extensive press coverage and discussion of which aspects of life are most important to our day-to-day happiness. However, Stephen also highlighted that the policy implications of taking these indicators seriously has not yet become clear.

Questions from the floor included challenging the absence of population from the indicators; described as the “elephant in the room”. Eva countered that runaway consumption in rich countries far outstrips population as the key to respecting environmental limits (more on this view here).

An interesting contradiction also emerged around the monetising of environmental and social factors. For some it was an essential pre-requisite to getting such issues taking seriously at the ‘policy table’. However, does such monetisation also prolong an unhelpful view of the world solely in numerical terms? No easy answers, but great points made by colleagues and just the sort of reflection these events are so useful for.

Insightful presentations providing great context for the work being done in this area by the regional observatories. But more of that another time, unless any other bloggers want to take up the task…?

PS An essential starting place for this area is the Sustainable Development Commission’s “Prosperity Without Growth” report from last year. Great primer/overview over on the West Midlands Regional Observatory blog, including a link to the full report.

Environmental Limits on Returning to Economic Growth

January 27, 2010

Representing the East Midlands today at the latest ARO network event on a key topic in public policy. Speakers from DEFRA, New Economics Foundation and regional observatories from around the country. More later…