Good for charityPosted: March 4, 2012 | |
Here are four potential uses or scenarios for our new think tank. Remember that our approach is based on policy and research work being led by frontline public service practitioners and service users, primarily through an online community/social network. These scenarios are designed to give our potential partners and customers (starting with charities) a more tangible idea of the benefits that we think our approach could deliver. Some of the benefits derive from working much more closely with practitioners and the public, which is not something that think tanks do that often or that consistently. Other benefits stem from using an online community, social media etc to do research and policy work – and sometimes it’s a combination of the two. Let us know what you think.
Scenario #1 – A service provider charity wants to understand the gaps in provision in its sector. The charity commissions new think tank to produce a research report on unmet needs among users. Because the research is produced by and with users and practitioners, it includes genuine new insights. The research receives widespread media coverage and sparks ideas for a new service. The charity establishes a ‘virtual advisory board’ of service users to inform the development of the new service.
Scenario #2 – A campaigning charity wants to develop fresh ideas for a new strand of its policy work. The charity commissions new think tank to produce a ‘manifesto’ on what future policy should look like for its sector. The charity uses the new think tank platform to draft the manifesto collaboratively, with the participation of its operational and policy teams as well as service users and other campaigners. This provokes considerable public debate, and helps to promote the charity as a thought leader.
Scenario #3 – A charity wants to develop a response to a government consultation. The charity commissions new think tank to host a private, invite-only forum for its service users, stakeholders and peer organisations. This leads to ideas for a joint campaign. The charity is able to present itself with policymakers as a leading organisation in its sector, but also as a good collaborator.
Scenario #4 – A small charity is interested in commissioning research but lacks experience. The charity works with new think tank to scope its research project. Because it is based on ideas and suggestions from a large, knowledgeable community, the charity’s ITT is centred on a unique and interesting research question. The charity also receives suggestions for good researchers and partners for the project. The charity seeks support for the project through a crowd funding proposal on the new think tank site.
What other benefits do you think could be delivered through our approach? How else could our approach be used? Equally, what might be some of the downsides or problems of our approach – and how could we mitigate them?