January Newsletter
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Pro Bono Economics Chairman warns of “troubled generation” emerging in The Guardian as part of prospective broader campaign on mental health
Speaking to the newspaper over the holiday period (see here), Lord Gus O’Donnell warned that high levels of exam stress were contributing towards Britain “sleepwalking into a deepening crisis of mental health”. His comments come as Pro Bono Economics is looking to engage with a series of new initiatives in support of evidence-based policymaking to tackle this worrying trend. By way of example, the Wellbeing Economics All Party Parliamentary Group was re-constituted on December 18th, with Pro Bono Economics present. The Group will re-convene at several points over the course of the year to explore ways in which evidence and data can be used to unearth potential policy solutions to poor levels of child and young people’s mental health in Britain. Given Pro Bono Economics’ expertise in helping charities understand and improve their social impact – many of which are active in the field of mental health – this is one of several outlets we intend to remain closely involved with throughout 2019 and beyond.
Fourth Industrial Revolution and its impact upon the charity sector set to feature as theme of Pro Bono Economics’ 2019 Annual Lecture
It has been confirmed that Pro Bono Economics co-founder and Chief Economist at the Bank of England Andy Haldane will deliver our 2019 Annual Lecture followed by a high-calibre panel discussion to explore this extremely topical issue. His fellow participants are yet to be confirmed but we are anticipating representatives every bit as insightful and thought provoking as those that have appeared during past editions of this event. Footage of the 2018 lecture, titled "Nudge-u-cation: Can Behavioural Science boost Education and Social Mobility?" can be found here. An official Save the Date to this year’s edition will be circulated shortly and we very much look forward to welcoming you to what should be a fascinating discussion of one of the most salient issues within the wider charity sector at present.
New policy blog launched to kick-off Pro Bono Economics’ anniversary year and build upon current thought leadership work
“Technological innovation – a gift or a curse for young people’s mental health?”. This is the question explored within the first in a new series of forthcoming monthly blogs, drafted by the team internally at Pro Bono Economics (see here). These will explore the various themes that, through our “day job” helping charities understand and improve their social impact, the team can speak to with credibility. From the value of robust impact measurement, the reputation of charities (and economics) to the benefits on offer to those skilled volunteers giving up their time on a pro-bono basis, this blog will form part of Pro Bono Economics’ wider thought leadership work. After ten years in existence, this seems an especially appropriate time to begin sharing the benefits of our collective learnings with a much wider audience, highlighting how they may potentially offer valuable insights to policymakers as well as charities.  
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Pro Bono Economics Colleagues in the Media
January 22nd, 2019: Patron Martin Wolf discussed the need for economic action and strong leadership to tackle climate change in the Financial Times.

January 15th, 2019: Business Leader reports Patron Dame Kate Barker was appointed to lead an independent economic commission, the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Independent Economic Review, to shape the future growth plans of the area.

January 14th, 2019: Lord Jim O'Neill featured on Reasons to be Cheerful, the podcast hosted by Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd, to discuss the recommendations made in Shelter's recent cross-party commission report on the provision of social housing.

January 2nd, 2019: Patrons Diane Coyle, Bronwen Curtis, Howard Davies and Vicky Pryce spoke to the FT on predicting the UK's economic trajectory in 2019.

Governors for schools

Governors for Schools aims to improve educational standards throughout the UK through effective governance, pairing governors and trustees with schools and providing resources and support. Volunteers from Ashurst and the Health & Safety Executive worked with the charity to help it understand the outcomes it achieves through its activities, as well as examining KPIs for continued improvement.

Veterans Aid

Ingrid Petrie from SYSTRA Ltd worked with Veterans Aid, a charity providing support services to veterans in crisis, to carry out an economic analysis of the costs and benefits of its work. By assessing the extent to which it improves outcomes in six key areas, the potential benefits of the work have been quantified in the form of fiscal savings to government with the estimated potential gross benefit of the support totalling £965k, against costs of £274K.


MyBnk provides a range of financial education and enterprise workshops in schools and youth organisations. Volunteers from Ofwat reviewed the monitoring and evaluation procedures of MyBnk's Money Twist programmes, and provided advice on the feasibility of an economic evaluation. 

Community First

Volunteers from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy worked to develop data requirements for measuring outcomes  and then monetise these outcomes, to create a model for use by Community First's programme Building Bridges, a programme jointly funded by the Big Lottery Fund and European Social Fund to help people overcome their barriers to employment and education across Swindon and Wiltshire. 
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