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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


10 September 2020

What has Covid-19 taught us about leadership?

Segun Olowookere | Restless Development

Segun Olowookere reflects on what we have learnt about leadership through responding to Covid-19, and asks what will voluntary sector leadership look like in the future?

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03 September 2020

Joined at the hip: Why you can’t make good grants without investing in learning

Ben Cairns

Learning within trusts and foundations is critical: balancing data with intuition; combining evidence with instinct. Here are four things evaluation and learning staff have shared, through the Evaluation Roundtable Community of Practice, that help make sense of how learning informs decision-making.

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