The people that charities and funders exist to help often have little or no influence over those organisations’ decisions. And there is rarely any way to let organisations know how they would like things to be different. User involvement is all about designing and delivering solutions ‘with’ people rather than ‘to’ people. This way, power is shared and better answers are found. We want to support charities and funders to do more of it.
Key tools, resources and commentary on user involvement
User involvement is in the spotlight, and while participatory and influencing practices are nothing new, they are now making it to the mainstream. But are they being used as well as they could be? Rosie McLeod, Deputy Head of Measurement and Evaluation explores her new research.
Involving users in shaping services and strategies is increasingly considered to be both the right and most effective way for the social sector and charities to work. This paper argues for a greater focus in the social sector on what user involvement aims to achieve and evidencing its effectiveness.
This report explains how charities can best harness the views and needs of their beneficiaries in order to improve their impact.
This guide outlines how user mapping techniques can be used to better understand people's lived experiences and drive impact.
Over twelve months, we worked with a group of young people experiencing multiple disadvantages in the London Borough of Camden. We sought to understand their experiences—as told in their own words—and identify how digital technology could help.
Darren Murinas, CEO, Expert Citizens
Expert Citizens is a Stoke-based independent group of people who have all experienced multiple needs. As ambassadors of lived experience, they encourage decision-makers to listen, learn, and then lead systems change in local services to make them even better. Here the organisation’s CEO shares his experience of connecting user voice, governance, strategy, and service design. He argues that charities still have a long way to go before they are truly putting people with lived experience in the lead.
We talk a lot about the need for charities to involve the intended user when designing services. But we also know that it’s easier said than done. So we decided to have a go at doing. Here are four things we learned from mapping young people's experiences in Camden.
Involving users in planning, delivering and evaluating a charity's work can help make services more effective. But it's also a matter of principle, argues Shona Curvers.
It has been broadly accepted by charities from across the sector that listening to users is not only the moral thing to do—it’s also the smart and logical thing to do. So, how do funders fit into all of this?
The RS Macdonald Charitable Trust recently commissioned NPC to research two of their funding themes—tackling child abuse, and visual impairment. Douglas Hamilton, the Trust's Director, explains why, and shares what he has learned along the way.