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Helen Garforth

Helen is a specialist facilitator, writer and researcher. She has particular expertise in participatory learning and engagement, a passion for turning talk into action, and the skills to support people to explore different ways of doing things. Her work with IVAR focuses particularly on the facilitation of cross sector partnerships, including the Health and Social Value and Building Health Partnerships programmes.     Previous work   Her professional and academic background (MA Anthropology of Development) enables her to bring an understanding of sustainable development – environmental, social and economic – to her work. Her career in the voluntary sector, including as CEO of a national charity, equips her with a wealth of practical experience and networks to tap into.     Other interests   Helen is Director of Just Ideas Sustainable Solutions Ltd, a small consultancy supporting mainly public and voluntary sector organisations involved in social and environmental justice. Other clients have ranged from small community organisations such as Utulivu (a Reading-based diaspora women’s empowerment group) to local authorities and universities; national charities such as the Fairtrade Foundation to international NGOs such as PlanUK. Helen’s current portfolio of projects includes using a Kenyan TV soap opera as a catalyst for global learning in schools, supporting local areas to develop resident-led partnerships for investment under the Big Local programme; delivering a series of Model UN Climate Conferences with young people and developing and facilitating training for community organisations.

Liz Firth

Previous work   Liz is an experienced senior manager and organisational development consultant, with a track record of innovation and more than 25 years’ experience of working in the voluntary and community sector. In 2005, after five years as Grants Director at Comic Relief, Liz returned to her work as a specialist consultant for social sector organisations, focusing on: helping organisations learn, manage change and work more effectively; supporting boards and senior staff to develop leadership roles and capabilities; evaluating governance, strategies, practices and programmes; and assisting grant-makers and emerging philanthropists with setting social change priorities, developing systems and analysing impact.     Other interests   Since 2010, Liz has worked with endowed, fundraising and spend-out foundations, corporate and family trusts, reactive national and international donors and those with focused interests and a more proactive approach. She has provided programme analysis, and development support and mentoring for leaders and leadership teams across a wide range of subject areas, including youth and older age, mental health, disability, and criminal justice, for both UK and international programmes.

Julia Coffman

Julia Coffman is founder and Director of the Centre for Evaluation Innovation in Washington D.C.     Previous work     Julia has 20 years of experience as an evaluator, and now specialises in the evaluation of advocacy, public policy, and systems change efforts. Her expertise is with evaluation that supports strategic learning, which emphasises real-time learning that helps organisations adapt their strategies and continuously improve. For 15 years Julia worked with the Harvard Family Research Project (HFRP), a research and evaluation organisation at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Julia led HFRP’s evaluation work for over a decade, which included evaluating foundation and non-profit initiatives and publishing The Evaluation Exchange, a nationally renowned periodical on emerging evaluation strategies and issues.    

Charlotte Pace

Charlotte is a lead facilitator on the national Building Health Partnerships and Health and Social Value programmes where she has supported cross sector senior leaders in their local collaboration and integration plans building productive and lasting connections based on respect, trust and challenge. She has a strong track record of project management, research and evaluation, providing governance advice and developing organisational strategy.     Previous work   Charlotte has worked as a trainer and facilitator for over 25 years in the private, public and voluntary sectors with experience primarily in the children and young people and health sectors.     Other interests   Walking, visiting France and politics.

John Hailey

John is currently Professor of NGO Management at City University’s Cass Business School in London where he is the Director of its MSc in NGO Management. He has extensive international experience working with NGOs and civil society organisations, and has worked in over fifty different countries. He has undertaken a range of consultancies and evaluations for many different clients. He was one of the founders of the Oxford-based International NGO Training and Research Centre (INTRAC).     His research and publications have focused on the leadership and management of international NGOs, and the strategic issues facing charities, NGOs and other development agencies. He is on the Board of ACORD, a Nairobi-based Pan-African NGO, and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Bath.

Ben Cairns

Ben has supervised over 200 research and evaluation projects, ranging from small organisational reviews with grassroots groups to national programmes of support and learning.    

Previous work  
Ben has more than 25 years’ experience of work in and around the voluntary sector as a volunteer, manager, trustee and researcher. His primary experience as a practitioner was in the housing and homelessness field, working with homeless families and campaigning for welfare rights.    

Other interests  
Ben is an Honorary Research Fellow of Birkbeck, University of London and Strategic Adviser to The Center for Evaluation Innovation in Washington DC. He has published widely with colleagues in national and international academic journals.