Showing posts from October, 2015

Pro Bono O.R. - some important information

I have a few requests as well as some important information to pass on.

Firstly the South West O.R. group (part of The OR Society) has asked if Pro Bono O.R. would give a talk at one of its events in late Feb/early March.  As well as giving an overview of the scheme I am looking for a couple of volunteers who could talk for 15 minutes about why they joined the scheme and about a project they are working on/have worked on (what they have/are doing) and the impact it has.  The event will be in Cardiff at 5:45pm on either a Tuesday or Wednesday.  Please let me know by the end of November if you'd be interested (travel expenses will be covered).  

Additionally The OR Society has other Regional Society Groups across the country as well as Special Interest Groups (SIGS) who would be interested to hear from volunteers, please get in touch if you would be happy to present at one of these groups (pleased note you do not need to be a member of The OR Society).

Secondly I have created a LinkedI…

New projects for Pro Bono O.R.: location analysis, demand analysis and impact analysis

Pro Bono O.R. – enabling managers to make more effective decisions
Pro Bono O.R. is a scheme run by The OR Society that provides skills-based volunteers to work on short term projects with third sector organisations in the UK.  Projects require skilled professionals who work in operational research, analytics or related professions.  If you have the skills required for a project, we’d love to hear from you. Please find details of a new project below that we are seeking a volunteer(s) for:
Blue Cross Information about the organisation: Charitable objectives: To encourage and promote kindness to and the protection of animals and to educate the public in responsible animal ownership.
Main activities of the organisation:Providing five services to help animals and their owners: Rehoming; Veterinary; Behavior services; Education; Pet bereavement 
Project summary: Project: There are potentially three pieces of work to develop our understanding of how best to target our services and how to configur…

Where are the O.R. professionals hiding?

As those who work in the O.R. field know, if you are talking to someone outside the field it is quite likely that they will look at you with a blank face when you mention the words 'Operational Research.'

Having been employed at The OR Society for over two years I have got used to this and have a pre prepared spiel that comes out every time someone asks where I work or what I do.

In days gone by many organisations would have had a dedicated O.R. team but now those analysts tend to be spread across an organisation and have a wide variety of job titles.  When I have spoken at a number of events I have found that a number of professionals, once I've explained what O.R. is, have actually realised that although they wouldn't have previously classed themselves as an O.R. professional, what they actually do would fall under the banner of Operational Research.

I know there are many O.R. professionals out there, my question is 'Where are they?'
I'd be really interes…

Impact measurement news (workshop, blog and tweet chat)

Impact measurementImpact measurement is a big talking point at the moment.  I've come across a workshop and a blog that may be of interest to you.  Additionally Pro Bono O.R. will be taking part in a tweet chat on this topic.

Workshop: Methods for Change are holding a workshop on Monday 9th November from 1:45pm -4:45pm which will focus on how to use questionnaires for impact evaluation.  The details can be found here.

Blog: The National Institute of Economic and Social Research published a blog: 'Evaluating impact in the social sector: a practical perspective' which may be of interest.

Pro Bono O.R. have also been invited to participate in Charity Hour on Wednesday 21st October from 8-9pm.  The topic of the tweet chat will be 'Impact Measurement.' The tweet chat is hosted by @CharityHourUK and you can join the tweet chat by using the hashtag #charityhour.  All input would be ap…

Motivations and Barriers to volunteering

Great article published by NCVO/ UK Civil Society Almanac on 'Motivations and Barriers to volunteering' 

The data they collected was really interesting, including frequently reasons given for volunteering. Whilst many might think a big motivator is increasing skills and helping career progression (which it certainly does and is a very valid reason), the top reasons given were 'to improve things/help people' (59%) and the cause was important to me (40%).  The biggest factor (48%) that stopped people volunteering was a change of circumstances and the biggest barrier to volunteering was work commitments (59%).

An increasing number of organisations are supportive of skills-based volunteering and my hope is with their employers support that will drive down that 59% to a much smaller number in the future.