The coronavirus crisis is throwing up challenges that are changing on a daily basis, placing even more importance on the already vital work undertaken by charities and civil society organisations across the country. Yet that work is itself being severely challenged by staff absences, funding shortfalls, and the impact of social isolation measures on working practices and service delivery. At PBE we want to do whatever we can to help our sector. We believe that good data analysis takes on even greater importance during a national crisis, and we want to play as large a role as we can in supporting charities and others to that end.

We are in the fortunate position of being able to work remotely without too much difficulty. Working from home has been a regular part of the routine for our core team for some time, and the Economic Associates and volunteers that advise and support the charities we work with already operate primarily on a remote basis. Inevitably some things will become more difficult, but our aim is to continue with business as usual as far as is practicably possible. That means we will continue to deliver the economic evaluation projects already started with charity clients up and down the country, and we hope to be able to start more projects in due course.

We recognise however, that many organisations will need to reprioritise their efforts in the coming weeks. We want to be sensitive to changing needs, and stand ready to be flexible in our approach. That might involve shifting project timescales, but it might also mean thinking through other forms of analytical support that could be helpful for charities struggling with urgent new challenges. We are grateful therefore to our funders for their continued support, and for understanding that previously set ambitions and objectives may need reassessing in the light of today’s changed circumstances. We’ll provide an update in the coming days, but we’d love to hear from you if you have any thoughts on things we might be well placed to support you and your organisation with. Do contact us here with your ideas.

The crisis has forced us to postpone our annual lecture, due on 26 March, with Caroline Criado Perez. That is disappointing of course, but Caroline remains keen to speak and we’re very hopeful that we can reschedule. As and when we settle on a new date, we’ll give all those signed up for the original event first refusal.

We’ll be sure to keep everyone updated on developments at PBE through our website, newsletter and Twitter account. For those wanting to get involved in what we do – as donors, as volunteers, or as project partners – please do explore our website or get in touch here.

Wishing everyone all the best during difficult times.

- Team PBE

20th March 2020