Sharon specialises in strategy, evidence based policy development and managing change, and she is an expert in providing advice and support in commissioning and partnership development.
My work requires me to think through the operational and strategic interface of organisations, recognising key policy drivers, to help senior leaders realise their aspirations. I also help middle managers assess associated challenges and find great solutions. Right now I’m working for OPM and Gloucestershire County Council, with a software development team on an evaluation framework. This software is able to track the progress of vulnerable families, identifying ‘what works’ and looking at comparative costs of interventions at a number of levels. I’m also working with East of England LGA to support a key pilot project to test the value of a new technology called ‘Mindings’ (a kind of Facebook for the technology shy). We want to look at whether there is any preventative impact in reducing loneliness and securing a longer period of independent living for older people. In these tough times I think it’s more important than ever for us to share and transfer learning to do our best to work appreciatively with communities, building capacity between us all.
Over recent years I’ve been working as a lead for one of the national support programmes with nine different children’s services partnerships (Commissioning Support Programme) and contributing to national training and programme methodologies. This has included developing governance arrangements and organisational capacity and helping to develop local commissioning activity. Underneath it all has been a drive to work in collaboration with local authorities to support a better focus on improving outcomes for children, young people and communities. I’m delighted to have had an opportunity to work on successful projects with local authority colleagues which have made a clear, tangible difference in reducing obesity, reducing NEETs, reducing the cost of placements for looked after children and improving support for those on the edge of care. My consultancy background includes OD, research and development around vulnerable people, commissioning to improve outcomes for vulnerable groups, and managing transitions and policy and performance for housing, adult social care and children services directorates.