Consulting 2017-05-19T08:39:17+00:00

Stronger systems, better decisions.

Partnerships to strengthen decision-making, and speed up institutional learning.

The pressure to mitigate and resolve violent crises has never been so acute. Public agencies and their international partners face ever-rising expectations and public scrutiny, while operating in tough and fast-moving environments.

Against this background, I focus on stabilisation and post-conflict recovery. I help strengthen approaches to evaluation, planning and decision-making, to help identify “what works” faster and more effectively.

At a practical level I work on a freelance basis, or by “plugging in” specialised support to larger initiatives. If you’re interested to talk possibilities, please do get in touch. Or for more details please click through:

What’s different

Where I can really add value .. and where you’d be better off with someone else.

What you get

 The building blocks of my approach: Discover, Design, and Iterate.

Track record

How I’ve helped other managers, in other organisations, work smarter.

What’s different

I focus on building stronger, smarter systems for evaluation, planning and decision-making. Underlying this, I believe that there are three main selling points:

A partnership for results. I don’t deliver reports and walk away. The goal is to support your staff to build stronger and smarter processes, that have been tested and validated on the ground.

Whole-of-organisation perspective. I’m an integrator, with the background and skillset to engage all the “moving parts” of an organisation, and to align them in support of strategic goals. (This applies double for inter-agency initiatives, which are a particular strength.)

An inter-disciplinary network. I actively cultivate relationships across organisational and sectoral boundaries, and facilitate practitioner events and conversations on a weekly basis. That’s a powerful resource to have in your corner.

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What you get

Traditional change management models don’t work too well in fragile states. The operating environment is unpredictable; you never know how other stakeholders will react; and competing priorities usually intrude.

Recognising this, I offer a pragmatic approach based on the Lean management philosophy. This includes three core steps:

Discover. We work “outside-in”, gathering the perspectives of direct stakeholders and thought leaders on major trends. Then we start thinking “inside-out”, using operations research techniques to map the system and its key components.

Design. We help those closest to the issues to identify the gap between “as is”, and “should be”, using a mix of qualitative and quantitative tools. We spur discussion by benchmarking against other organisations, and pulling in better practices.

Iterate. We support the rollout of new approaches in “live” environments, with real problems, and help troubleshoot. Then we use the practical experience to revise and strengthen the thinking.

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Track record

I’ve been guiding experimental initiatives to strengthen peacekeeping and stabilisation for about thirteen years. Here are some samples of recent, interesting work, but for a more tailored pitch please feel free to get in touch with a few details on the issue you have in mind.

>>  Mapping the aid system: Helping a national government steer “stabilisation” programs, and ask the right questions, by establishing joined-up reporting and common metrics for some two dozen international agencies.

>>  Connecting top managers: Re-engineering decision-making processes at the apex of the United Nations system, to deliver faster and more evidence-based results.

>>  People-centred peacekeeping: Taking stock of how community-level interlocutors are involved with policy-making for peace operations, and building workable entry points for them to have a bigger say. Piloting in a high-priority, high-volatility operation.

>>  Judging strategic impact: Reviewing how peace operations are assessed and evaluated, and developing new approaches that balanced technical merit with political workability.

>>  Finding the exit: Developing metrics for exit strategy from protracted crises for a large humanitarian organisation, and planning approaches to development actors. Piloting the new policies in high-priority cases around the world.

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