Neil specialises in evaluation projects and research, especially where there is a significant amount of data to analyse and draw conclusions from. The focus is on helping groups, organisations and communities to better show the difference that their activities make to their local community, environment and economy. Neil also has significant experience of developing policy and programmes at a local and national level, particularly focusing on enabling communities to do more for themselves.

Neil Smith

Core competencies

Neil’s core competencies are:

  • Evaluation.  Analysis of qualitative and quantitative information: capturing and presenting learning; supporting organisational and personal development; enabling better decisions and planning; demonstrating value and difference made.
  • Engagement.  Helping groups and organisations to do their best thinking; supporting communities to make social, economic and environmental change.
  • Analysis of processes and systems: mapping the reality of what an organisation does, compared to the perception; aligning resources with organisational aims; and, improving the way people, teams and organisations work.
  • Supporting change.  Developing policy that delivers strategic goals and delivering results through designing and managing projects and programmes.

Career highlights

Neil’s varied career has enabled him to develop an extensive and transferable set of skills that, for example, saw him lead the national community and social action agenda for successive governments whilst at the Cabinet Office. This included designing and managing national grant and investment programmes worth more than £300m, and the policy and programme for Community Organisers.

His approach to evaluation, engagement and supporting change is centred on constructive dialogue to promote understanding, build trust and relationships.  The aim is more sustainable solutions for communities and organisations.

He has experience in the private sector in business start-ups, consultancy and technology, having also started a web design agency during the boom! His design skills still come in handy on projects.

Other stuff

Neil lives in East Sussex. He is a member of Hastings Commons / Community Land Trust, and of Community Organisers.  He is the Chair of Hastings and St Leonards Cycling Club. He regularly helps with local beach cleans and is an active National Trust member.  He has held a number of non-executive roles e.g., as Treasurer of Action in rural Sussex and as director of Sidley Community Association.

Neil’s recent projects include:

Landscape Conversations

There is currently a lot of interest in the ‘Landscape Scale’ approach to addressing nature’s decline and the impact of…


Cuckoo Trail

Resources for Change are working with Wealden District Council to explore the current usage of the Cuckoo Trail.  The work will…