Systems Changers - harnessing the power of insights from the frontline

May 3, 2016, by Cassie Robinson

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.  

Intelligence about what needs to change in how systems work doesn’t only sit in Whitehall. We know that policy makers are experimenting more with how to involve citizens in decision-making. People-centred design has done a brilliant job of ensuring that those accessing public and voluntary services are also brought in to shape and inform them. The need to understand user voice in designing systems and services is not radical anymore. However, 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 and their collective insight 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, who work on the frontline of services for people facing severe and multiple disadvantaged. They might be working in the NHS, for Local Government, with a Housing Association, in a Library or for a local community group. They will want to see and understand the bigger picture and won’t be afraid to ask difficult questions. The organisations in which they work will need to be equally bold and committed.

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 developing ways to make better use of digital technology. The cohort will also hear from experts across a range of fields and develop peer-to-peer coaching practices. The greastest emphasis though will be on harnessing the full power of their own and the cohorts collective insight. Participants might use the programme to develop their agency as a change maker, or will develop what they are already doing or seeing to have influence on those who are involved in making change at scale. 

Does this sound like you, or do you know an organisation or inpidual working with those affected by multiple disadvantage who might be interested?

You can find more details about the programme and the short application form here. The deadline for applications is the 31st May.

Information and application for participants.

Information and application for the organisation in which they work.

If you want to read more about the experiences of those on the programme last year, and some of the insights that were generated, you can do so here. 

This is a programme delivered in partnership with Lankelly Chase and Snook. For further information you can contact