This is the website and blog of Dr John Lever.

Sunday 17 July 2011

Stories of co-production: improving schools, social care and health services in an age of cuts

The New Economics Foundation has made a short film, Stories of Co-production, that shows how people around the UK are already making the most of their own community resources and strengths to deliver more effective and efficient services. A new report of the case studies involved, In This Together, accompanies the film.

Call for papers

Norbert Elias and Figurational Sociology: Prospects for the Future 

Department of Political Science & Department of Sociology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark, 2–4 April 2012

This two-day conference focusses on the development of figurational sociology in relation to other disciplines. The first day will explore the ‘boundaries’ and relationships between figurational sociology and other disciplines, as discussed by Elias in 'What is Sociology'? On the second day, the major themes that emerge from subsequent ‘boundary’ work will be examined in more detail in relation to some of the major areas of debate in figurational sociology. Click here for more information.

Supporting capacity in a time of funding cuts

Over the last decade a range of initiatives and networks have emerged to support voluntary and community sector development. The economic crisis and subsequent funding cuts have meant that everyone involved has had to reconsider the ways in which they support organizational development in the sector. In order to further this process BIG commissioned Professor Diana Leat to write a report on how funders can best support organizations to build and maintain their skills in this context: Read 'New tools for a new world' here.

Friday 15 July 2011

New research on the 'disappearing middle'

New research by the Work Foundation reports that many of the job types on which post-war social mobility/economic progress were founded are quickly disappearing. The recession has accelerated this process and those loosing secretarial, administrative and skilled factory jobs are finding it increasingly difficult to find alternative positions: click here for more details.

Tuesday 12 July 2011

The role of student volunteers in festival-based public engagement

New research for the National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) reveals that the popularity of science and arts festivals in the UK is founded on the help and willingness of university student volunteers. While UK universities are active supporters of science and arts festivals for the public, festival organisers highlighted the enthusiasm and expertise of volunteers as significant factors: http://www.publicengagement.ac.uk/how-we-help/our-publications