180 Degrees Consulting

Compass Lexecon in EMEA has partnered with 180 Degrees Consulting (180DC), a university-based pro-bono consultancy where students provide non-profits and social enterprises around the world with consultancy services during the school semester.

We are supporting 180DC in two main areas:

  1. Mentoring project teams; and
  2. Hosting masterclasses.

Mentoring

Volunteers from Compass Lexecon are acting as mentors to support 180DC project teams, providing guidance and direction on both the consulting and technical aspects of their case. Mentors meet with project teams regularly during the project cycle and review deliverables along the way, acting as a sounding board for the student consultants.

As part of the pilot, a Compass Lexecon team comprising of Mallika Arora, Josep Peya, and Roshni Nandwani mentored a student team from Durham University on a project for Shared Interest Society, an organization that provides loans and borrowing facilities to farmers and handicraft producers in remote and disadvantaged communities across the world (for instance, in Kenya, Ghana, and Peru). The objective was to analyze the potential trade-off in managing financial risk across the portfolio while maintaining a high level of social impact and support for more marginalized groups.

The project ran between November 2020 and March 2021 and has now concluded, with positive feedback from both the client and 180DC.

Following the success of the pilot, we have continued providing mentorship to 180DC in Spring 2021:

Joanna Hornik, James Forster and Nikki Hui mentored a student team from 180DC’s Copenhagen branch on a project for FirstWave Group, a company that sources, distributes, and retails fish and aquafeed in Africa. The objective was to develop a model to measure the company’s social impact. The team identified key areas of impact and the mechanisms through which impact is created, using their model to measure the impact generated by the client. The final deliverables included a theoretical framework and an impact metrics dashboard.

William Lobo, Alex Ciborowska and Andrea Brucato mentored a student team from TU Delft and Erasmus University Rotterdam on a project for Make-A-Wish Foundation. The objective was to develop an effective fundraising strategy for the client in EMEA.

Masterclass

On Tuesday 3rd November 2020, we hosted the first masterclass to help 180DC consultants develop their technical skills, with a turnout of over 50 students. This was led by Bernard Lee, on the topic ‘How to Measure Social Impact’. The measurement of social impact is a key topic in the social and NGO space, gaining traction and attention rapidly over the last decade. This masterclass outlined the key questions to ask, where to start, and the common issues that occur when faced with an open-ended impact measurement problem. This framework was then applied in the context of a case study in the UK non-profit sector, where participants learned about the approach and methodology used in a recently published study by Pro Bono Economics and Compass Lexecon.

We have continued providing skills training sessions for student consultants from 180DC this year:

In April 2021, we hosted a masterclass on the ‘Essentials of Data Management & R’, led by James Forster and Joanna Hornik. The session addressed the critical steps in processing raw data and gave an introduction to creating data summaries using R.

In May 2021, Mallika Arora led a masterclass on ‘Research Essentials’, focusing on secondary research. The session provided a structured approach to conducting desk research, including key steps to take and common pitfalls to avoid in the context of both qualitative and quantitative analysis.

This initiative is led by Laura Phaff and Roshni Nandwani, contact them to find out more.