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Welcome to the Institute for Voluntary Action Research – IVAR. We are an independent charity that works closely with people and organisations striving for social change. From the very small that directly support the most vulnerable in their local communities, to those that work nationally – across the voluntary, public and funding sectors.


We use research to develop practical responses to the challenges faced and create opportunities for people to learn from our findings. This site is home to our bank of research and resources, providing insights that can help organisations adapt to change and make informed and confident decisions.

Recently published


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30 January 2020

Closing well: Ending the work of a ‘spend-out’ trust

Matt Little (The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust)

On the final day of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, Programme Manager Matt Little gives his perspective on ending the work of a 'spend-out' trust. Having sufficient time and resource dedicated to closing the programmes, and concluding relationships with partners, has enabled the Trust to leave the stage confident in the legacy of work and hopeful for the future of the Commonwealth.

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21 January 2020

5 things that help system leaders ‘have difficult conversations’

Sonakshi Anand

In order to change the culture within a health and care system, health, voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors (VCSE) leaders need to be open-minded, build on the diversity of people around them and have conversations that are engaging and curious, rather than sparking debate. In this blog, Sonakshi Anand (IVAR Senior Researcher) suggests five things that might help when handling tricky conversations taken from the lessons learned from the Building Health Partnerships leadership workshops.

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