Reading List: Morgan Inquiry, MORI:Impact of Empowerment, Carnegie UK

This is what I’ve been reading over the last day or so with some brief info and initial thoughts on each:

1) Morgan Inquiry

Report looking at barriers to volunteering for young people aged 18-24.

The inquiry found that:

  • volunteering needs to be more flexible- possibly supporting an 8hours/year volunteering allownace with employers
  • there needs to be greater clarity in terms of jobseekers’allowance that volunteering is a valid route to employment
  • there needs to be better and more centralised information on opportunities available for volunteering
  • there needs to be formal recognition of volunteering

Seems to me that the most easily fixed would be the information issue – V are doing good work in this area already, why not support them further to continue and develop this work. Also, could link this promotion to an awreness campaign amongst job centres around clarifying status of volunteer work for jobseekers’allowance claimants.

Also, seems to be something missing around motivations to volunteer in the first place- though I realise this wasn’t exactly in the scope – it is v.significant.

2) Searching for the Impact of Empowerment

Ipsos MORI report using survey data from the New Deal for Communities National Evaluation to look at how involvement in NDC activities, and feelings of ability to influence link to feelings of community, trust and quality of life.

It does well in trying to unpick some of the tricky discussions around subjective and objective empowerment (ie. feeling like you can change stuff for the better, and opportunities to engage with decision making.) It backed up the more small scale qualitative research looking at the impact of empowerment in that there are relationships between involvement in local activities/feelings of abilty to influence – and positivity around general satisfaction with life/community/local area/wellbeing.

BUT – as with all the best reports – more research is required ;)


  • Who wants to be empowered and what does that mean in practice?
  • What are we trying to acheive through empowerment?
  • What is the best way to measure the good done through empowerment?

3) Carnegie UK Annual Review

Does what it says – a review of Carnegie UK’s activities and outline of future plans.

Building on the work of the futures work Carnegie recently did around civil society – the review highlights some really interesting areas of work across all its programmes.

Random quotes that stood out for me:

“our aim here(in futures work) is to assist citizens working at local, national and international levels to prepare for change and to combine their strengths to try and determine that change.”

“The challenge of sustainability and the threat of climate change is a common theme in public discourse, yet the implications are largely uncertain and potentially devastating. Perhaps this threat presents an opportunity to strengthen civil society and re-engage people in formal politics?”

“What collective action can rural residents take to build resilient communities? We understand the ‘resilient rural community’ to be one which accepts that any status quo is unable to last for long and that the community needs to be constantly learning new ways of self-sufficeiency, collaboration and living errangements. Every dimension of life is up for challenge and creative response”.

Right – am off to read a novel now….


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