New ways of thinking & doing in difficult times.

What we do.

This is a time of heightened questioning of the role of the public sector and public services, with real challenges to 'business as usual'.

If you are a manager or leader in public service, there will be many fewer of you and those of you remaining will be harder-pressed.

We at PSW have worked for years locally, nationally and internationally to support transformative effort in public service. The ethos of public service is central to our identity.

We are in business in order to:

  • support new thinking for public policy development that enables people to live well and tackles entrenched inequalities in our society
  • support managers and leaders to improve their strategy making, organisation development and efforts to transform the efficiency and effectiveness of publicly funded services
  • help those managers and leaders to build community assets and public engagement through what they do, rather than focus entirely on 'needs' and perceived deficits of communities
  • and to do all this in the most difficult times through fostering creativity, innovation and collaboration

We work across a range of domains, including arts and creative industries, health and social care, regeneration, environment and housing.

Evaluation and related service and policy development has been part of our work for many years and this means we are experienced in:

  • Developing do-able research design that includes both qualitative and quantitative methods and focuses on a clear, agreed research question
  • Working in participative ways that mean the people involved co-own the evaluation/research results and so are more prepared to implement them
  • Creating analysis and reporting that is rigorous but also engages the people involved in the thinking and conclusions so the recommendations make sense to them in their work
  • Action research involving cycles of reflective inquiry in the workplace that enable changes as the work unfolds rather than waiting till the end
  • Working with the realistic evaluation framework (Pawson and Tilley), helping people articulate their theories of change and develop their understanding of the context for their work to improve programmes and outcomes
  • Supporting people to implement the results of evaluation through facilitating events, coaching/mentoring teams and individuals.

Specific projects involving this kind of work include:

  • Evaluation of a mentoring scheme for chief executives in the Carers Trust network through action research (ongoing)
  • Evaluation of Camden Council's 'joint strategic needs assessment' of health and social care for the borough - both its content and its process (2014) Service development via the Healthy Child Review in Tower Hamlets which led to re-worked service specification based on input from parents, children and young people as well as from a range of professionals in partner agencies in the borough (2013)
  • Assessment of Lambeth NHS equality scheme and recommendations for development (2013)
  • Evaluation of the King's Fund Partners for Health grants scheme based on the realistic evaluation framework adopted by the KF (2006-10)
  • Research and service development projects with Marie Curie Cancer Care: one about bereavement and its impact on MCCC staff and then a large (£600k) DH funded project to improve the experience of transition to adult services for young people with life-limiting conditions, which PSW project managed and delivered (2009-2012)



 cabin crew

Your mission? Re-design the plane while flying it.


What we do

Read our extended version of this section of the website.
> Download the 'What we do' PDF