Evidence of our impact

Welcome

Our clients are usually working against a backdrop of almost constant change. We have been asked to help with a diverse selection of challenges over the years, some of which are recorded here, together with an outline of the support we’ve delivered and the impact that this has had on the people and organisations we’ve worked with.


 

Click any of the boxes below to read about the challenges some of our clients have faced, and how Richardson Howarth has helped them to make real progress.

Local Authority

Our customer

Local authority

A local authority had commissioned an innovative development programme supporting people setting up and running enterprises in the creative sectors. As the programme was part-funded with European funding, an external end-of-programme evaluation was required, however the local authority was also keen for any evaluation learning to feed into and enhance their future decision-making as regards future funding allocations. Richardson Howarth was asked to help.

Our approach

Thorough and multi-faceted programme evaluation

A robust review of the programme was undertaken looking at both quantitative and qualitative evidence of outputs, outcome and impact performance. Time was also spent talking with a broad group of stakeholders connected to the programme - including those managing, delivering advising, partnering and participating programme participants -to get a thorough insight into their individual and collective experiences, and assess whether such support activities should continue in the future. A wider perspective was also sought through a review of what else was on offer within the region and further afield to support the creative sectors.

Our impact

Robust evidence for funders and concrete ideas for the future

The local authority was able to deliver evidence in the form of a ‘traditional’ end of programme evaluation in line with EU funding requirements, but were also able to take advantage of concrete ideas of how they should go forward and further build on their success with supporting the creative sector in their region.

Mid-size Housing Association Board

Our customer

Mid-size Housing Association Board

Following completing a governance development programme, this Housing Association Board now uses an agreed format to undertake an annual self-assessment to ensure they stay on track. The Board commissioned Richardson Howarth to bring a fresh pair of eyes to this annual review, to offer support in analysing the results, and provide evidence of compliance within the adopted governance standards.

Our approach

Thorough consultation and workable recommendations

Consultation events and discussions with the Board and senior staff team were designed and orchestrated to fulfil the organisation’s objectives from the review, leading to a final report which clearly set out the outcomes, conclusions and recommendations for changes to be made to governance practice.

Our impact

A more certain future

The Board now achieve higher levels of attendance at meetings and works within an agreed annual Board calendar. New Board members were recruited to provide a stronger commercial edge to the Board’s deliberations and planning, and Senior Management now have a better understanding of governance and ways of reporting to support the Board to reflect on performance and build robust strategic plans.

Development Agency, East Africa

Our customer

Development Agency, East Africa

This development agency encourages and supports a small number of financial institutions in East Africa to improve their services for growing small businesses. Having adopted an action learning approach, they now wished to harness the lessons, good practice and new ideas that were emerging from their work to reach a much broader audience. Richardson Howarth were contracted to help them do this.

Our approach

Development of a learning framework and draft approach for the future

Detailed familiarisation with the wide range of activities and issues being addressed by the project included becoming part of an interdisciplinary team of global consultants. A learning framework was then developed. With this came a draft approach outlining the various resource outputs that could be produced, together with suggestions for future use and dissemination to differing stakeholder audiences. Internal evaluations were also undertaken, to enable performance to be assessed.

Our impact

Confidence in the quality and consistency of future delivery

A wide range of publications and resources have been produced that are easily accessible through the organisation's website, and as a result the project is able to engage with a wider audience as well as being on course to exceed its knowledge performance targets.

 

If you aspire to drive change we can help you to make real progress.

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Richardson Howarth’s client base is diverse and widespread, from small North East-based third sector organisations to large international institutions; mostly driven by their aspiration to drive social and/or economic change through initiatives in local communities, enterprise and educational settings.


 

 

International Development Agency

Our customer

International development agency

An international development agency had designed a training package aimed at helping small business entrepreneurs to further grow their businesses. The materials were aimed at an international audience throughout the developing world and had been tested widely. However the agency was not sure how the training and resource materials would be viewed by women entrepreneurs, especially those in the Middle East. They contracted Richardson Howarth to help them gender audit their programme.

Our approach

Gender audit, feedback and development of new resources

An initial review of training materials was undertaken from the perspective of women business owners. A number of workshops and facilitated discussions then provided the opportunity to test the resources with a large group of women's entrepreneurs and business advisers in Yemen. A feedback report was presented, alongside a proposed new training module to address the typical gender issues faced by women in growing their businesses. A guidance pack was also developed to support the international group of accredited advisers and trainers supporting the programme.

Our impact

Confidence in the quality and consistency of future delivery

The international development agency had confidence that their programme was validated as being appropriate to women business owners. They now had access to high quality guidance resources to ensure that future delivery of the programme to women business owners would be both high quality and consistent throughout the region.

Charity sector funding body

Our customer

Key funder of a small charity with an uncertain future Having operated successfully for over 20 years, a wave of change was threatening the future of a small charity. Accessing funding was becoming increasingly challenging, trustee numbers had diminished and a lack of succession planning for a key manager was leaving the charity exposed. Richardson Howarth was commissioned by one of the charity’s funders to provide the objective support needed to get the charity back on the road to success.

Our approach

Strategy design and implementation programme

After identifying the key challenges through discussions with the manager and their deputy, a development process was designed to enable a strategic plan to emerge, with an emphasis on increasing funding – including maximising income and profit through an existing trading activity, a succession plan for the senior manager and recruitment of new Board members. A worthwhile planning day led to a draft strategy for further input by the senior and Board team, and once finalised the team was supported to implement it fully.

Our impact

The vision of a positive future The charity is now well on the way to implementing a 3-year strategic plan that involves an ambitious plan for funding including generating income through social enterprise activities. The board size has doubled, and a succession plan is in place for senior management.

Enterprise training provider

Our customer

Newly established charity delivering a new enterprise programme

The entrepreneurial founder of a newly established small charity needed to measure the impact of an enterprise programme they were delivering to young people in the North East of England. They needed to fulfil their funders’ reporting requirements, but also wanted to showcase the charity as an innovative new provider in the field. Richardson Howarth was recommended as the consultancy partnership that could help.

Our approach

Design and implementation of monitoring and evaluation methodology

The team was trained and supported to use a thorough monitoring and evaluation approach, and key data collection methods were gradually introduced. Once the systems were fully in place Richardson Howarth acted as external assessors, to check and help interpret the collected data, providing an independent perspective of the organisation's activities. This helped the team to identify areas for further development, as well as building their capacity to effectively monitor their achievements.

Our impact

Sufficiently strong evidence to encourage further investment

The charity has been able to interpret the performance of their programme, and demonstrate the positive impact it has made on young people’s lives. This demonstrable success has satisfied their initial funders and attracted new funding and supporters. Also the evidence collected has enabled them to produce a range of promotional materials which have attracted a wider client group to their work.

Local women’s charity

Our customer

Established local women’s charity

The board of this local charity found itself focusing increasingly on operational issues to boost the capacity of its flat management structure, leaving only limited capacity to provide strategic leadership, and leading to confusion amongst staff. Richardson Howarth was commissioned to review the organisation’s structure and recommend workable options for the future.

Our approach

Facilitated discussions leading to a programme of change

Having spent time reviewing the aims, structure, people, services, management and governance of the charity first-hand, and understanding the current challenges from the perspectives of the staff and the board, options for future structures and practices were presented for discussion. A programme of change was then developed and support provided to ease its implementation.

Our impact

Strong leadership to take the charity forward

The charity is now moving forward confidently. With a renewed leadership focus from the board, and a CEO in place to lead the day to day management of the organisation, it has also re-positioned itself to be recognised as a lead organisation in its sector.