News and Comment


Commissioning for Outcomes – The role of social finance

Monday March 20 2017

Can social finance help with the challenges that public commissioning faces? This paper is intended as a provocation to government, commissioners, providers and investors to begin a richer conversation that doesn’t assume we already know the answers. OPM’s experts in commissioning for outcomes (Sue Goss) and in social finance (Chih Hoong) draw on their learning… Read More

Independent evaluation of the Essex Multi Systemic Therapy Social Impact Bond

Wednesday February 22 2017

For the past three years OPM has undertaken an independent evaluation of the Essex County Council Multi Systemic Therapy (MST) Social Impact Bond (SIB). The Social Impact Bond delivers MST to children and young people at risk of being taken into the local authority care.  The Social Impact Bond has been managed by Children’s Support… Read More

New approaches to public and patient engagement

Thursday February 9 2017

In the second half of 2016, OPM principals Rob Francis and Helen Brown worked with Birmingham CrossCity CCG to review their public and patient engagement structures. In this article, Rob talks about how the work took shape, what it helped to achieve and what we can all learn as a result. Please find the article… Read More


Is social investment the answer?

Monday September 12 2016

At OPM Group we have been involved in much of the early thinking around new models of financing and investment, and how these are changing the landscape of commissioning and delivery, for a number of years now. We have shared our experience of evaluating SIBs, designing feasibility studies and delivering commissioner advisory support through a series of blogs… Read More

So what works? Our top 7 tips for qualitative research with children and young people

Tuesday August 30 2016

Previously in this blog series we have looked at challenges and ideas when using baseline surveys and how to measure soft skills when working with children and young people. In this post I talk through some ideas around approaching qualitative interview-based research and the importance of being creative and flexible in this work. Working with children and young… Read More

Reflect, adjust and share learning: how to measure soft skill development in children and young people

Monday August 22 2016

So far in this blog series, we’ve talked about how to manage expectations and understand findings from baseline and exit surveys with children and young people. We’ll now continue this conversation with a focus on the challenges of measuring soft skill development, and share some useful tools and ideas from our recent work. The challenges… Read More