Systems Changers – harnessing the power of insights from the frontline

3rd May 2016, words by Habiba Nabatu

Very rarely do we give enough or any attention to the knowledge and insights of the front line worker. Systems changers is a programme that aims to change that.


We know how important it is to hear the voice of users.  Alongside that policy makers are starting to improve services by using  people centred design and experimenting with citizen involvement. Yet the day to day insight of how services work and are experienced, and the opportunities for change, are most likely to be spotted by those delivering them.  We need to make sure that frontline perspectives are part of the puzzle, that they are fed into the system and acted upon.


After our first programme last year in the NE and NW of England, we are looking for 10 people across the South East of England (excluding London) who work on the frontline of services for people facing severe and multiple disadvantage.  We want to find people who won’t be afraid to ask difficult questions, who are passionate and who want to see and understand the bigger picture.  They might be working in the NHS, local government, housing association, library or local community group in an organisation will also be committed to improving services.


Over the course of six months the group will work together to gain a much broader and deeper understanding of the systems in which they work. They’ll learn how to articulate what they uncover and use it to influence change. There will be sessions on power and influencing, field work on ethnography and systems mapping and the cohort will hear from experts across a range of fields.  But most important of all it is about harnessing the full power of their own insights. Participants might use the programme to develop their agency as a change maker or to develop ways for what they are already doing or seeing to have influence on those who are involved in making change at scale.  We are keen to have participants who are drawn from or working with diverse communities and those who are interested in the role of discrimination within systems.

Does this sound like you, or do you know an organisation or individual working with those affected by multiple disadvantage who might be interested?  You can find more details about the programme and the short application form by following the links below.  The deadline for applications is the 31st May. If you are fasting or celebrating Eid in July, please do get in touch with us and we will be able to work around your plans.  

The applicant and the organisation they work for will need to apply jointly and this can be done by following the links below.

For participants please click here

For organisations please click here

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