Validated Lead Expert
B.1. Understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development:
I have spent the last ten years undertaking research and advice around local economic development, regeneration and local governance. Working for the Centre for Local Economic Strategies (CLES) (www.cles.org.uk) has exposed me to the importance of marrying physical, social, cultural and environmental regeneration and additionally of public agencies working with other sectors to deliver effective urban development outcomes. I have in depth knowledge of urban policy interventions in a UK context from the last 30 years ranging from Urban Development Corporations in the 1980’s up to the present day Local Enterprise Partnerships; together with knowledge of European development programmes. My role at CLES has included: commenting and critiquing urban development policy; seeking to shape urban development activities through promoting more effective procurement practices which maximise the benefit of investment; assessing the impact of urban development activities; and offering recommendations for enhanced benefit through urban development policy. This practical engagement has come through engagement with local authorities and voluntary and community sector organisations in the UK and beyond, including in a current project in the United States. The practical engagement has supplemented my educational background and particularly a Masters in Urban Regeneration and Development, for which my dissertation was on the potential regeneration benefits of London hosting the 2012 Olympic Games
1: The candidate demonstrates convincing proof of his understanding of integrated and sustainable urban development.
B.2. Understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level:
Every piece of work which I undertake with CLES is based upon working collaboratively with a partner organisation such as a local authority and is designed to facilitate learning and better policy. I was part of a consortium of organisations and European countries involved in developing, piloting and delivering the Future City Game (http://www.cles.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/LW104-Future-City.pdf). The FCG is an innovative way of drawing together communities and stakeholders to vision what they want the future of their city to be. I have been involved in developing the methodology for the game and facilitating it in Norway and the UK. The FCG has been played over 250 times across Europe. I have also shared learning from the FCG at conferences in Budapest, Hungary and Pilsen, the Czech Republic. The work I have undertaken around maximising the impact of public procurement in Manchester (http://www.cles.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/The-power-of-procurement.pdf), England has also been disseminated Europe wide and internationally, including at a seminar in Copenhagen, Denmark whereby the findings were utilised to refresh approaches to procurement. I am currently undertaking work in the United States, seeking to understand how alternative approaches to local economic development can be transferred to a UK context. In the UK, I am currently working with Preston City Council to facilitate learning around procurement across six anchor institutions based within the City.
1: The candidate demonstrates convincing proof of his understanding of exchange and learning processes at transnational level.
B.3. Proficiency in English:
English is my mother tongue. In written terms, I write a range of different outputs. This includes summaries of government policy around economic development and regeneration; critiques of policy for trade press and CLES’ in-house magazine new start; reports for local authorities about the impact of their procurement spend and their processes; evaluation reports for a range of organisations including central government; and CLES’ own publications. Recently I have authored publications such as the CLES manifesto for local economies (http://www.cles.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/CLES-Manifesto-2015.pdf); and around how the debate around devolution can bring a social benefit (http://www.cles.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Double-dividend-Final.pdf). Equally, I communicate orally through a range of means. I have spoken at national and international conferences around my work on procurement. I have given evidence to parliamentary select committees. I regularly provide training on economic impact assessment methodologies such as Local Multiplier 3 (LM3) to a range of audiences. Recent presentations have included: one detailing the findings of an evaluation of the Brixton Pound; and one reflecting upon what the devolution agenda means for the social sector. I also facilitate events and meetings and chair groups. I am the Chair of the Greater Manchester Social Value Network and have recently facilitated a UK wide event on the impact of welfare reform.
1: The candidate points to convincing evidence of his proficiency in English, in addition to the fact that English is his mother tongue.
Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities:
C.3.1. Ability to communicate complex concepts to non-English speakers:
As detailed in B2, I have undertaken an array of work around public procurement and the impact spend has upon local economies. Since 2007, I have been working with local authorities across the UK to seek to understand the impact their procurement spend has upon their local area through their supply chains and through the jobs created. As well as gathering evidence this work, has also strategically worked with local authorities to alter their processes so that benefit for the local economy is maximised. This work has included a national study for the Federation of Small Businesses, whereby data was collected for 180 local authorities (http://www.cles.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/FSB-procurement-2013.pdf); and specific work for local authorities including Manchester City Council. The work with Manchester City Council has had a national and international profile. In particular it has been disseminated to a group of politicians in Denmark; and a group of Brazilian policy makers. On each occasion, the importance of visual aids has been integral to communicating to non-english speakers. So, the work is accompanied by a series of charts and maps detailing the core findings of the work. Similarly, for the work with the FSB an infographic was developed to enable the findings to be easily explained to non-specialist and non-English speaking audiences.
1: The candidate points to a valid example of how he is able to define a good communication approach, although some of the information provided is not relevant to the criterion.
C.3.2. Ability to draw out, support the verbalization and documentation of knowledge and practice from participants:
Each of the projects I work on seeks to glean and interpret information from a range of sources. In more traditional evaluation type projects this comes through interviews, focus groups and surveys, for example to seek to understand the impact of an urban development intervention. In more research and advice type projects, it comes through discussions focused around gathering opinion and also sharing my past experiences. In events and seminars, it comes through ensuring there is an effective balance between presentation, tasks and discussion. In some of the more innovative projects I have worked on such as the Future City Game, it comes through facilitated and team based gaming activity with an outcome of ideas. The techniques utilised will vary on the circumstances and the stakeholder group. The approach adopted by CLES and myself very much mirrors that detailed in the URBACT local support group toolkit; so amongst other things engaging with stakeholders, building capacities and participative action planning. My work is very much about action, so drawing out information is not just about gathering evidence but thinking about how it can be used in practice to shape improvements. This practical approach is particularly applicable to work in Manchester and Preston around procurement.
0: The candidate did not provide a valid example of specific outputs produced to support exchange of experiences and knowledge from participants.
C.3.3. Ability to capture learning for participants to take away:
Much of the work I have done around capturing learning from participants from events and meetings does not sit in the public domain. Instead, it sits with organisations who have used it to frame further intervention activity. The learning gleaned from running the Future City Game was written up into an evaluation and action plan document for the City in question with a particular emphasis upon the winning idea from the game and how it should be taken forward. The work I have done facilitating procurement networks for Manchester City Council and others is written up into minutes and detailed actions for participants to undertaken between meetings. This has been the case for both cross departmental and supplier networks. At the moment I am working on projects where evaluation and measurement frameworks are being developed. Here engagement is focused upon re-shaping and honing the framework so that they are relevant to the organisation in question. In more research focused projects findings are written up into case studies which support the organisations own publicity and research outcomes. Examples of work with cases studies include work around Local Enterprise Partnerships (http://newstartmag.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/FSB-MAKING-LEPS-SUPPORT-SMALL-BUSINESS-BETTER-Report-SEPT14.pdf) and work around how local governance can address poverty (http://www.cles.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/JRF-Addressing-poverty-through-local-governance-final-report.pdf).
1: The applicant points to more than one valid example of how the results were captured for the participants to take away.
C.3.4. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate good practices and policy messages:
As detailed in B3, I write a range of different outputs ranging from policy summaries to opinion pieces to impact evaluation reports. In relation to this question I write publications for external funders and internally for CLES and they are designed to influence the way in which policy is undertaken. They are also designed to highlight what does and does not work in public policy making. In the last three years, my policy output has been particularly voracious. It has included: a paper for the Federation of Small Businesses detailing the value and importance of small business in delivering local authority good and service contracts; a paper for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation exploring how poverty can be addressed through local governance, including best practice case studies; a paper for CLES detailing the role of Local Enterprise Partnerships in creating local economic resilience; a paper for the Association for Public Service Excellence exploring the role of local authority assets in regenerating town centres; a paper for the Smith Institute on how devolution can bring a double dividend for communities; and work for CLES exploring how anchor institutions can support the creation of a good local economy (http://www.cles.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Anchor-institutions.pdf). Each of these publications are framed by evidence gleaned from wider pieces of CLES work and are focused on the policy implications and recommendations of our findings.
1: The candidate provides convincing examples demonstrating his ability to produce concise reports that incorporate good practices and policy messages.
Summary Expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities:
I have spent the last ten years undertaking a range of research and advice activity around local economic development, regeneration and local governance. This work has been in both a UK specific and transnational context. What is common about all this work has been the ability to work in partnership, whether that be with a project team, a partner organisation, or a range of stakeholders and communities. In each of the projects undertaken at transnational level, I have been involved at various stages from the creation of the idea, to the design of the tool or methodology, to the piloting or delivery of the event, and to the evaluation of the outcomes. This is particularly notable in my key role in the development and delivery of the Future City Game. This experience means I am able to adapt to a range of circumstances and amend activities accordingly. I have significant experience of facilitating and presenting at different types of meetings including seminars, parliamentary committees, networks, and more formal events. In this oral communication, I have experience of engaging with non-english speakers to explain complex concepts; most notably in my work around public procurement and local economic development. My current role is predicated by a need to produce policy messages as reflected in recent pub
The candidate meets the criteria regarding the expertise for the design and delivery of transnational exchange and learning activities. There are no identified inconsistencies between the summary and the replies, nor between the information in the application form and CV.
Theme / Policy:
Local Economic Development
D.1. Deep knowledge on the selected theme and related policy challenges, including up to date practice, research, etc.:
Over the last ten years I have undertaken an array of work around local economic development. This supplements my Masters in Urban Regeneration and Development and has focused on: employment programmes; the resilience of place; local economic development strategy development; and small business and inward investment. My key area of work over the last eight years has been around the links between public procurement and local economic development. This work emerged predominantly as a result of three frustrations. First, a significant amount of money is spent buying goods and services; there was however no real understanding of the impact it had on local economies. Second, the function of public procurement has been undertaken in a very silo-ed and bureaucratic manner. Third, procurement could have greater local economic outcomes in the form of creating jobs and supporting local business. My work has therefore focused upon: measuring the impact of procurement spend on local economies using methodologies such as Local Multiplier 3; ensuring local authority procurement departments join up with other departments such as economic development though facilitating engagement; and influence procurement practitioners and suppliers so that maximum local economic benefit is derived through the process through developing frameworks and publications. I have worked directly with around 40 places and institutions on their procurement practice and indirectly with over 180 local authorities.
1: The candidate shows sufficient experience in local economic development.
D.2. Ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process of in projects in which you have been involved:
I am adept at writing a range of output. In terms of projects and feeding these outputs into wider learning there are a range. The ongoing evolution of the Future City Game was shaped by papers about cities and policy, and evaluation of pilot Games in order to learn lessons and further foster learning across Europe. Additionally, seminars around our procurement and economic development work with Manchester City Council in Denmark were framed by specially written briefing papers, which were reflective of the findings and additionally policy around procurement in Denmark. I worked on a project for Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) looking at the of role small business in Local Enterprise Partnerships. As such this included a range of outputs that facilitated learning. An initial briefing paper discussed the evolution of LEPs and their position within contemporary urban policy in a UK context. This, and an assessment of policy documentation informed the development of a framework of key lines of enquiry for a survey of LEPs and other key local economic stakeholders. The findings of the survey were written up into an analysis report which was discussed with the FSB and their regional teams, with a view to developing case studies. Further interrogation of LEPs was undertaken to identify best practice and lessons learnt. These were in turn written up into a full report. This highlights the importance of having different types of output at stages of a learning process.
1: The applicant provides two valid examples demonstrating his ability to produce thematic inputs to feed in the learning process.
D.3. Ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities, put forward good practice:
Over the past 2 years, I have worked with Preston City Council on a project about community wealth building. The focus of the project has been upon anchor institutions based in the City and how they can bring greater benefit in terms of jobs and their supply chains. The focus of the work has been upon procurement and we have analysed the supply chains of six institutions, developed a charter as to how those organisations will undertake procurement in the future, and undertaken gap analysis to identify sectors where there is scope to draw more spend back into the Preston economy. Each of these aspects have been written up into specific reports for Preston City Council and the anchor institutions. I also felt it important to translate the learning from Preston into a wider policy piece which explored how anchor institutions can support the creation of a good local economy. This work is unique in a UK and European context and has been subsequently disseminated through CLES and wider networks. The focus of the policy piece is upon learning from Preston and creating a new debate around the importance of anchor institutions to local economies. I have also recently published work disseminating learning from a project with Manchester City Council around the Living Wage (http://www.cles.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Living-wage-and-the-role-of-local-government.pdf). The publication provides practical insight around the role of local government in implementing the Living Wage.
1: The applicant provides two valid examples demonstrating his ability to produce concise reports that incorporate learning from exchange & learning activities.
D.4. Understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for benefits in capitalization, policy design, awarenes:
I regularly write articles for the trade press and blog (http://newstartmag.co.uk/author/matthewjackson/). This is a key way of both highlighting the findings of policy publications and maintaining a profile around local economic development activity. CLES owns and runs new start magazine, which is the UK’s leading community regeneration and economic development magazine. This enables us to regularly disseminate the findings of our work to an audience of some 9000 practitioners in the UK and internationally. My recent work around anchor institutions, living wage, the manifesto for local economies, and devolution and double dividend have all had follow up articles written in the economic development trade press. This includes in: Local Government Chronicle, the Municipal Journal, Public Sector Executive; Society Guardian, and Public Finance. CLES also promotes the findings of our wider consultancy and research work through our own publications and membership network. Recently, I have authored CLES findings publications (http://www.cles.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/CLES-Findings-7-LEPs-and-VCS.pdf) on the role of voluntary and community sector organisations in Local Enterprise Partnerships, based upon work undertaken with the Cheshire and Warrington LEP. We also use other means of disseminating the findings of our work, including through parliamentary select committees. I recently gave evidence to the All Party Parliamentary Committee on local authority procurement.
1: The applicant provides more than one valid example demonstrating his understanding of how to maximize the use of project results for strategic benefits in capitalization, policy design, awareness raising etc.
Summary Thematic expertise:
I work for the UK’s leading think-tank and research organisation dedicated to local economic development. In this I have a range of experience of undertaking research and advice activity with local authorities and other stakeholders around employment interventions, economic development strategy, and creating resilient places. My particular area of expertise is around public procurement and how the process can maximise local economic, social and environmental outcomes. In this, I have done work measuring the impact of procurement spend, facilitating procurement focused workshops, developing procurement charters, and providing advice to local authorities and other stakeholders about their processes. As well as this, I have published widely around procurement including for CLES and other organisations such as the Federation for Small Businesses. I am seen as one of the UK’s leading thinkers on progressive procurement practice. This work had been disseminated on a transnational basis through specialist briefings and seminars, for example. In my work around procurement and local economic development, I write a range of different outputs. This includes impact data and analysis reports, charters for improvement, strategy, policy focused publications, and blogs and articles. The work I have undertaken around procurement has led to key changes in the behaviour of procurers and importantly suppliers of goods and services, so that greater benefit is derived for the local economy.
The candidate meets 4 out of 4 criteria and should be validated for this theme. There are no identified inconsistencies between the summary and the replies, nor between the information in the application form and CV.
Expertise support to local authorities and other stakeholders in designing & delivering integrated and participatory policies
E.1. Knowledge on participatory methods and tools for co-production and implementation of local polices :
The work in Preston around anchor institutions has involved a range of different methods designed to ensure the participation of six organisations. The purpose of the project has been to seek to identify ways in which six anchor institutions can bring greater benefit for the local Preston and Lancashire economies through their spending and in turn work more collaboratively and learn from each other. The approach to participation included: initial meetings with the Chief Executives and Leaders of the six organisations with a clarity of what we wanted the project to achieve; follow up discussions around their procurement spend and training in the use of a tool for undertaking supply chain analysis; a series of workshops designed to analyse and interpret findings and share them across the group of anchor institutions; action planning activities to develop a cross-anchor procurement charter; and the formulation of a procurement practitioners working group. All this has led to a change in the behaviour of anchor institutions and they are all working collectively toward a vision of creating a good local economy.
1: The candidate pointed to more than one example of his involvement in activities related to participatory methods and tools for co-production and implementation of local policies.
E.2. Knowledge on integrated approach for the design, delivering, monitoring and evaluation of urban strategies/policies:
Over the last ten years, I have worked on a number of projects and activities whereby the achievement of positive outcomes through urban development activities is predicated by relationships across the public, private and social sectors. This is reflected in CLES’ work around resilience and particularly this publication (http://www.cles.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/Resilience-for-web1.pdf). In this we posit the importance of collaboration in the design and delivery of interventions to respond to local economic shocks. I have been involved in a number of CLES’ specific pieces of work around resilience including in Greater Dandenong, Melbourne and Walsall in England (http://www.barrowcadbury.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/CLES-UNDERSTANDING-COMMUNITY-RESILIENCE-2013.pdf). In this work we seek to collaboratively understand how resilient a place is across ten measures and subsequently identify ways through which resilience can be enhanced through better relationships and joint projects across the public, private and social sectors. The way in which we approach evaluation is that it is very much about learning and informing the future roll out of activity; hence the need for it to be a collaborative approach between the evaluators and the deliverers. In terms of monitoring, I have designed a number of frameworks for monitoring and measuring the impact of intervention. This includes recent work with Bury Council exploring the impact of an employment programme.
1: The applicant shows examples that demonstrate his knowledge about the monitoring and evaluation of urban strategies/policies.
E.3. Awareness of the main policy and funding schemes for sustainable urban development at EU and national level:
My work at CLES is embedded in contemporary policy around sustainable urban development. At a European level, we understand programmes such as European Regional Development Fund and European Social Fund and their contemporary tie in with Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in the UK in terms of funding. Again, we regularly engage with LEPs through the LEP Network to understand how European monies link to infrastructure and skills development in the UK. At the national level, we regularly undertake research and consultancy work exploring vehicles such as Local Enterprise Partnerships, Enterprise Zones and City Deals; and increasingly we are engaged in the debate around city devolution. The important thing about the way in which CLES follows urban development policy is that we do not tow the government line that policy is about economic growth; instead our emphasis is upon ensuring that urban development intervention brings not only economic growth, but also social and environmental outcomes including the alleviation of poverty. We keep up to date about urban development policy through working directly with places and interventions, through commenting on policy, through undertaking research which identifies impact, and also through critiquing what other think-tanks and research organisations are doing around sustainable urban development.
1: The candidate demonstrates a good awareness of the main policy and funding schemes for sustainable urban development at EU and national level.
E.4. Ability to understand specific local situations and adapt tools and content to different local realities:
On an everyday basis in my work at CLES, I come across different local circumstances. We are adept at tailoring our research activities to the needs of particular localities and clients. CLES operates on a relationship basis, whereby work is shaped in close coordination with a locality or organisation. We very rarely bid for formally advertised tenders. This means that we are often embedded in place. Whereby we adopt a recognised approach to evaluation, we often adapt our methods so they are reflective of the groups of individuals or organisations involved. At the moment I am working in a range of different places (amongst others) which require varying approaches. I am working with Preston City Council and five other anchor institutions on a community wealth building project which requires different relationships with different institutions. I am working with the London Borough of Lambeth on an evaluation of the Brixton Pound which involves engagement across the business, local community and stakeholder base, with different methods used for different audiences. I am working with the Education Funding Agency exploring the impact of school construction in different parts of England, with the approach being tailored to the developer in question and the types of impact they are seeking to enable for the local economy.
1: The candidate demonstrates good ability to understand specific local situations and to adapt tools and content to different local realities.
The core objective of the organisation I work for (CLES) is to provide support to local authorities and other stakeholders to deliver more effective outcomes through their interventions in terms of local economic development and the alleviation of poverty. In this, each project I work on is framed by developing relationships with local authorities and other stakeholders so that it is reflective of the challenges facing that place and other local circumstances. Research and advice is undertaken on a co-produced basis whereby findings and support are designed to directly shape the way in which policy is designed and implemented in a locality. I have worked with over 50 local authorities across the UK on specific projects related to local economic development. In this, I have developed in-depth knowledge of policy pertaining to economic growth and urban development and provided them with research and advice which has shaped the way in which they engage across stakeholders and with the community. My knowledge base of how local government operate is based upon this experience is extensive and is transferrable to other issues across Europe.
The candidate meets 4 out of the 4 criteria regarding expertise support to local authorities and other stakeholders in designing and delivering integrated and participatory policies and should be therefore validated for E. There are no identified inconsistencies between the summary and the replies, nor between the information in the application form and CV.
Unavailable - already performing the role of Lead Expert for an URBACT network