A student of Royal Holloway, University of London has said OCVA’s work on data is ‘light years ahead of much of the sector’.
The author of the thesis, James Bowles, is hoping to continue his fascinating studies at PhD level, where he would examine how digital platforms can better document and chart the work of the third sector in order to help people drive greater efficiency, sustainability and provision.
OCVA features in the thesis several times; and the work forms an excellent analysis of the opportunities now existing with technology in mapping and visualising the sector’s work, and also the challenges in doing so.
The Charity Commission publish the most recent accounts, annual reports, rough area of operation and mission statement, all of which provide a good overview of the charity. However, the register is still not completely open as only 500 search results are downloaded at a time, and the information that gets downloaded is very basic. The Charity Commission supply an extract of the database, but it requires a content management system in order to properly view it. At a regional level, the best data is held by [councils for voluntary action (CVA/CVS/VCS)], such as the OCVA.
Download: Cartographic Representations of the Third Sector by James Bowles
Opinion: Trevor Barton