The OPM Group

Who we are
OPM Group is an independent, employee-owned research and consultancy organisation which supports and champions the delivery of social impact. The group consists of two divisions OPM and Dialogue by Design. We are a market leader in understanding and measuring social impact through research, evaluation and engagement, giving the third, public and private sector organisations the evidence of their positive impact on society and helping people have a say in both the decisions that affect them and the services designed for them.

Who we work with
We work with a wide range of organisations including local and central government, health, social care and children’s services, the voluntary sector and social enterprise, the police and community safety, education, and the private sector. All the people we work with share a common commitment: a determination to improve the well-being of the communities they serve.

Our projects
The issues we focus on vary as widely as the people and organisations we work with. Key themes include demonstrating the impact of innovation and investment, consulting and engaging with communities and stakeholders, unlocking local community capacity, improving standards for service users despite considerable financial pressure, developing the ability of leaders and organisations to manage change and ensuring that commissioning strategies and models lead to the best possible outcomes

Employee ownership
As an employee-owned company, OPM Group has been at the forefront of efforts to increase staff ownership of public services, including providing expert support to Cabinet Office mutual pathfinders and supporting the delivery of the Mutuals Information Service.

The Grants and Programmes Framework
We are part of the grants and programmes framework, supplier on the programme evaluation lot and we bring deep understanding of evaluations of grant funded programmes. For example:

1. Cripplegate Foundation:
We were asked by the Cripplegate Foundation to evaluate Islington Giving: a campaign of local and national philanthropic organisations that work together to tackle the most pressing local issues facing the poorest residents in Islington.

This evaluation occurred just after the midpoint of the campaign’s delivery and was designed with the following aims:

  • To understand the emerging impact of Islington Giving on the borough;
  • To explore the extent to which these impacts fit with campaign overriding objectives; and
  • To make recommendations for future activity.

We identified Islington Giving’s key objectives during an initial scoping period by reviewing key documents, in-depth interviews with a range of stakeholders involved in the programme and developing a draft logic model underpinned by clearly articulated ‘theories of change’

Through this process, we identified three hypotheses to explore through the evaluation which was purely qualitative: we asked participants to describe the ways in which they have engaged with Islington Giving, the added value offered through this engagement and the impact this has had upon themselves and their wider community.

We spoke with 46 people including board members, strategic stakeholders, volunteers and donors, grant recipient staff members and grant recipient beneficiaries themselves – the people that attend Islington Giving-funded projects.

The evaluation attracted attention from funders and councils from other areas and OPM worked with Islington Giving to identify ‘top tips’ for those looking to replicate a place-based multi-funder model. Please find more information and the evaluation report here:

See http://www.opm.co.uk/projects/evaluating-the-impact-of-islington-giving-...

2. Department for Education:
OPM was commissioned to produce an evaluation report on the Learning into Practice Project (LiPP) which was funded under DfE’s Innovation Programme and ran by NSPCC and SCIE.

The LiPP was testing a proof of concept – aiming to establish what is needed on an ongoing and sustainable basis to improve the quality and use of Serious Case Reviews (SCR) in England. The LiPP consisted of four main workstreams:

  • developing a mechanism for collating and producing accessible information on practice issues and causes from SCRs
  • the establishment of a strategic Alliance of national strategic and leadership bodies to consider and implement improvement work, from a national perspective, as a result of SCR findings
  • supporting commissioning and conduct of reviews through a set of Quality Markers
  • improving lead reviewer expertise through a series of masterclasses

Our evaluation was asked to explore:

  • stakeholder perceptions of the potential for the new mechanisms being developed and tested to achieve improvements in the quality and use of SCRs in the future, and in turn, better outcomes for children and families
  • what might be needed for these mechanisms to become sustainable and implemented on an ongoing basis

The evaluation involved 63 qualitative interviews with those involved in LiPP activities; and an online survey aimed at non-participants in the LiPP activities to explore wider views on the proposals. 126 people completed this. Alongside the external evaluation, the project team conducted an internal evaluation of the LiPP, focussing on describing the mechanisms being tested, and the emerging learning from these.

The evaluation report has been published now: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/learning-into-practice-project

Event Diary

The largest flood exhibition and conference in the world is coming to London’s ExCeL in September.

The Emergency Services Show takes place at the NEC from 20-21 September and is the only UK event for all involved in public safety.

World of Learning will feature even more opportunities to discover the latest in learning and development (L&D) with over 100 exhibitors, The Technology Test Drive, Learning Design Live, live workshops, one-to-one consultations, free seminars and its renowned annual conference.