Mobilising Voluntary Action in the four UK jurisdictions: Learning from today, prepared for tomorrow

Lead Research Organisation: Northumbria University
Department Name: Fac of Arts, Design and Social Sciences

Abstract

The overarching aim of this four nation comparative study is to critically evaluate social welfare voluntary action responses to the pandemic, to help guide the UK volunteer effort to support the national recovery and prepardeness for future crises, and indoing so inform UKRI research questions on inequality and national recovery (1).

The four nation study will be delivered by a UK-wide team (academics, the four key sector infrastructure bodies for each nation), supported by a Project Partner advisory panel (from professional networks, organisations and related ESRC investments).

It has been co-designed, and will be co-delivered practising the principles of co-production. The analytical framework is a theory-based evaluation technique (2) with refinements from process evaluation of complex systems (3).

A desk-based collection of evidence will be undertaken across the four nations facilitated by CoIs (Q 2.2) from the infrastructure bodies and supported by Project Partners (2.3). Key evidence: national voluntary action policy documents; virtual interviews with policy makers; rapid evidence gathering via voluntary action pro-forma (CoI and Project Partner networks) and anonymised data from matching apps/ platforms.

A common coding frame will be employed for data analysis, within country analysis preceding integrated analysis, linking the four nations to identify similarities and differences. Critical feedback and validation will be provided by Project Partners (second Advisory Panel meeting).

Emerging findings will be shared via an interactive website; regular webinars; mid review briefings to inform recovery, end of review briefing informing future planning, presented at virtual end of award events (one per nation).

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Gateshead Council 
Organisation Gateshead Council
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution The collaboration is informal, and nominated members of the team work closely with each partner
Collaborator Contribution Our collaboration began at bid writing stage. We knew and were known by the Council before, Irene Hardill has collaborated with them on previous ESRC investments. The Council provided a letter of support with the project proposal. Their support includes co-organising two knowledge exchange events. The first interactive event was held November 27th 2018 and was to engage with older Gateshead residents to share some emerging findings from the project. Members of the Older People's Assembly attended
Impact We adopted an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach drawing on knowledge and expertise from social policy, sociology, human geography and social history. The collaboration is extant, and outcomes are ongoing and will be reported in future submissions
Start Year 2015
 
Description Mobilising Voluntary Action collaboration 
Organisation Volunteer Now
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The team co-wrote the proposal with Denise Hayward of Volunteer Now.
Collaborator Contribution Denise Hayward is a Co-Investigator on the project, she is using her skills and expertise on voluntary action in Northern Ireland to inform the foru national study
Impact multi-disciplinary
Start Year 2020
 
Description Mobilising voluntary action Scotland 
Organisation Volunteer Scotland
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The team co-wrote the proposal with Volunteer Scotland
Collaborator Contribution Matthew Lining and colleagues from Volunteer Scotland are leading the analysis of voluntary action in Scotland
Impact Multi-disciplinary
Start Year 2020
 
Description Mobilising voluntary action Wales 
Organisation Wales Council for Voluntary Action
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The team co-wrote the proposal with WCVA
Collaborator Contribution Sally Rees and colleagues from WCVA are leading the analysis of voluntary action in Wales
Impact Multi-disciplinary
Start Year 2020
 
Description Mobilising voluntary action digital volunteering matching tools 
Organisation Be Collective
Country Australia 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The team approached Be Collective when bid writing to secure access to volunteer matching data
Collaborator Contribution Be Collective are working with the team to access volunteer matching data
Impact Multi-disciplinary
Start Year 2020
 
Description Mobilising voluntary action digital volunteering matching tools 
Organisation TeamKinetic
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The team approached TeamKinetic when bid writing to secure access to volunteer matching data
Collaborator Contribution TeamKinetic are working with the team to access volunteer matching data
Impact Multi-disciplinary
Start Year 2020
 
Description NCVO 
Organisation National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution A memorandum of understanding underpins our collaboration. The project is underpinned by the principles of co-production. Nominated members of the team work closely with each partner.
Collaborator Contribution Our collaboration began at bid writing stage. We knew and were known by NCVO and NCVO convened our bid writing meetings. These conversations were lengthy but were essential for us to present detailed fieldwork plans in the application form. Our proposal depended on having access to their archives and interactive engagements with our partners during the research process. The archives we wished to examine were not in the public domain. Our collaboration is articulated through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which built on the information in the letter of support submitted with the project proposal to ESRC. The MoU specifies the nature of the support the organisation would give to the project, (access to archives, participation of Steering Group etc) statements on ethics, outputs, archiving and knowledge exchange. The document was signed off by the partner organisation and the research team.
Impact We adopted an interdisciplinary and collaborative approach drawing on knowledge and expertise from social policy, sociology, human geography and social history. The collaboration is extant, and outcomes are ongoing and will be reported in future submissions. Our work adds additional insights on the history of NCVO using a slightly different lens from that of Dr Justin Davis-Smith, Cass Business School who has been commissioned to research and write the History of NCVO.
Start Year 2015
 
Description Working Paper 1: A picture is worth a thousand words using a Theory of Change approach to develop a shared understanding of 'voluntary action' as complex systems 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact This working paper outlines the Theory of Change approach used to develop a shared understanding of 'voluntary action' in "Mobilising Voluntary Action in the four UK jurisdictions: Learning from today, prepared for tomorrow (MVAin4)". Working with the project team and key stakeholders in the Advisory panel a common analytical framework has been developed to guide the work across the four nations of the United Kingdom.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021