UK charities and Multi-Academy Trusts
For the last two years, I have focused on providing support to charities and Multi-Academy Trusts. I help these organisations enhance their governance structures to ensure that their executive team, Board, and local volunteers can use their skills and time to maximum effect. I also ensure that they are compliant with a very challenging regulatory regime, meeting tough challenges from the Charity Commission, the Department for Education, the Education Funding Agency, and Ofsted. I love quietly untangling the boring detail (eg updating Articles of Association and ensuring registers are correct) - and I also love talking to people and providing reassurance that they can make their governance watertight and fit for purpose.
I have held roles as Senior Adviser to the Senior Minister for the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and as Senior Adviser to the Rwandan Prime Minister's central co-ordination team.
The Afghan Governance Cluster spanned Public Financial Management, Anti-Corruption and Transparency, Efficient and Effective Government, Local Government, Justice and Rule of Law, and Human Rights. I was responsible for co-ordinating progress in these areas with the government and the International Community. This required high levels of content knowledge and diplomacy, liaising between the Afghan civil service and donors at all levels of seniority, resolving issues immediately where possible, and escalating to the Senior Minister when not.
In Rwanda, I was based in the Prime Minister’s Department, supporting the equivalent of the UK’s Prime Minister’s Delivery Unit. I worked with my Rwandan counterparts to improve their capacity to make sure that Ministries delivered the Government’s programme and followed the Rwandan plan for poverty reduction and economic growth. This involved improving organisation design, systems and processes at institutional level (eg monitoring, planning, evaluation, implementation of Cabinet decisions) and also coaching individual civil servants on IT skills, meeting management, time keeping, project management etc. More widely, across the GoR, I also supported Ministers and Permanent Secretaries in preparing draft priorities, strategies and targets for the annual Leadership Retreat, at which all Rwandan Ministers, senior civil servants and industry leaders agree plans for the coming year. I was the lead external support for the GoR Governance Cluster throughout the year.