Consultancy

MEAM consultancy: Transforming services and systems

MEAM works with local areas across the country to transform services and systems for people experiencing multiple disadvantage and improve people’s lives. Our consultancy support regularly helps local areas to build effective partnerships, gain fresh perspectives, identify practical solutions to complex problems and to put lived experience at the heart of local work.

Our expert team offers support which incorporates the insight that systems approaches provide, alongside a practical and expert understanding of how services and local areas actually work. With a deep knowledge of multiple disadvantage and a core commitment to coproduction, we provide expert, authentic and sustainable support to local areas that are working to tackle multiple disadvantage.

The support we provide to local areas, organisations and partnerships varies according to their specific project, local context and ambitions. We can work with any area seeking to tackle multiple disadvantage on a broad range of systems issues. We have particular expertise in:

Specialist systems consultancy: Helping local areas resolve complex problems
MEAM specialist systems consultants enable local areas to gain fresh perspectives on complex issues and implement practical solutions. Our work encompasses strategy, commissioning, co-ordination, operations and evaluation – combining our expert knowledge of systems approaches and leadership with your local knowledge and experience to develop sustainable and effective solutions.

Our approach identifies and explores key issues, manages change across the system and creates a culture of learning and curiosity among partners. We achieve this through a blend of facilitation, programme support and coaching. Working across sectors on shared challenges, we facilitate a change in focus from ‘my/your work’ to ‘our work’. Ultimately, working with us enables partnerships and organisations to realise their full potential in supporting those in communities and groups that are the most disadvantaged and marginalised.
Coproduction: Empowering and embedding lived experience voice in service delivery and design
At MEAM, coproduction is not just a concept – it’s at the heart of our approach. Our coproduction support helps local areas across the country to benefit from the insight of people with lived experience and to design, commission and deliver services with increased impact and reach.

Our comprehensive coproduction offer includes bespoke training on coproduction and power dynamics, designed to empower organisations to effectively engage with diverse voices. Alongside this we regularly provide hands-on support to build coproduction groups and co-design coproduction projects. Throughout, we leverage peer research and collaboration to ensure initiatives are rooted in real-world needs and experiences.
Partnership development: Coordinating cross-sector approach to multiple disadvantage
At MEAM, we’re committed to fostering cross-sector partnerships that can drive positive change in local areas. Our tailored partnership support packages empower and enthuse newly formed partnerships to kickstart their journey towards improving services and systems for people facing multiple disadvantage.

Our support begins with personalised one-to-one guidance, ensuring that each area receives the specific assistance they need. We regularly support partnerships to set culture, build vision, embed learning processes, develop operational and strategic initiatives, and engage wider system partners. Throughout, we foster peer networking opportunities to encourage collaboration and shared learning.

“The system change stuff has been a real struggle, but without MEAM we wouldn’t have got on the first rung.”

Examples of our work

We can work with you on specific challenges in one of these areas or on wider projects that include elements from all. Examples of our consultancy work include:

  • Creating bespoke alliance commissioning models with collaboration embedded at the heart, fostering unity over competition, shared mandates, and overcoming budget and remit issues.
  • Establishing frameworks and networks to seamlessly embed good practice such as trauma-informed approaches and co-production across sectors.
  • Implementing innovative learning systems that empower multi-agency systems to innovate and devise their own solutions, building capacity for proactive problem-solving.
  • Providing mentorship and development opportunities for local leaders and change agents in systems leadership and approaches, enhancing their capacity to drive sustainable transformation.
  • Developing cross-agency strategies that unite systems around a shared purpose, facilitating better overall operational deployment and service provision
  • Setting up transformation programmes, from town and city partnerships to combined authority collaborations, creating the infrastructure for whole-system transformation.
  • Facilitating collaboration between local residents, third sector/VCSEs, and council officers to develop initiatives addressing issues related to multiple disadvantage that are meaningful to the community.

How we work with you

Our approach to consultancy support is ambitious but practical and speaks to a real-world context. We can offer:

  • Flexible delivery models – face-to-face, online or hybrid.
  • Tailored methods, including 1-2-1 mentoring, small to large group facilitation and support, and whole system events.
  • Ongoing connection to the MEAM Approach network to draw learning and insight from live multiple disadvantage system challenges across the country.
  • Options to use MEAM’s online community platform for peer learning and support.

“We had been trying the same things over and over and they weren’t working to get strategic change, but we have been supported to consider what other ways there could be of achieving a different type of systems change.”

Our consultancy support can work alongside our training offer, including our systems leadership training to create an all-round package that equips local systems with the knowledge, tools and mindset for sustainable and effective systems change.

Download our leaflet and get in touch with info@meam.org.uk to speak to our team about your consultancy needs.