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Ketso workshop explores budget cuts

02 Dec 2010

A toolkit which enables more effective group decision making is to be showcased at a workshop of North West stakeholders to develop ideas on providing good services in the face of public sector budget cuts.

Ketso being used in Africa
Ketso being used in Africa

Dr Joanne Tippett, from The University of Manchester, used her experience of working with rural African communities in the 1990s to create a University spin-out company called Ketso.

Ketso, which is supported by Manchester Beacon for Public Engagement,  was also influenced by her research with communities in North Manchester.

The Ketso team will host people from across the public and private sectors, at the University on December 3, in an interactive dialogue around the theme of delivering value in a time of budget cuts.

Using the Ketso ‘toolkit’, participants will develop ideas relevant to sectors ranging from health and social care, education, enterprise and business development, as well as environment and community planning.

The event is part of a series of workshops held by Ketso across the country, and the results will be published on the newly revamped website, along with freely available information about how to run your own workshops.

Ketso has now been developed, trialled and tested in over 13 countries, including Bangladesh, Peru, Germany, Australia, USA, Rwanda and Afghanistan.

It has also been used by Universities, businesses, and NGOs across the UK. Tesco and the University’s Sustainable Consumption Institute, for example, have used Ketso toolkits for training Tesco staff and employees in sustainability.

UMIP, The University's IP commercialisation company, initially helped with funding, design registration and general business advice.

Dr Tippett, who is based in the University’s School of Environment and Development, said: "What started as a simple idea has now become a highly regarded system used by government agencies at national and regional level.

"It has also been used to engage with disadvantaged people, and we hope it can make a difference to the debate on public sector cuts and people’s role in civic society.”

In the 1990s, Dr Tippett, worked in schools in Lesotho, to find ways of encouraging rainwater recycling, composting and permaculture.

Her ideas were shortlisted for the Sustainable Development Commission's ‘Breakthrough Ideas for the 21st Century’ in 2009 and the ESRC Michael Young Prize in 2007.

Ketso also won a Research Council UK Business Planning Competition commendation for the best plan in the Humanities and Social Sciences in 2008.

Dr Tippett added: "Ketso is for anyone who needs or wants to get great results from working with a group of people whether large or small.

"It is accessible to virtually anyone and is particularly useful for people who need to work together on an issue or plan within a limited time frame.

"It is wonderful to think that a country such as Lesotho - where nearly 40% of the people live on under a dollar a day, can provide the germ for an idea which I feel has considerable potential across the world."

Notes for editors

Journalists are welcome to attend the Ketso session which will be on Friday December 3 from 10:00 - 12:00, University Place, University of Manchester, Room 3.204

Dr Tippett  is available for interview.

Images are available


For media enquiries contact:

Mike Addelman
Media Relations
Faculty of Humanities
The University of Manchester
0161 275 0790
07717 881567