Current and recent work

Neil's consultancy includes strategic advice to senior leaders and politicians, designing, project managing and conducting research and policy analysis, leading public affairs activities, assisting with funding applications and designing and delivering training courses, seminars and workshops.  He is an accomplished public speaker, facilitator and chair.

Here are some examples of his work: 

Director, Thomas Paine Initiative - director of collaborative fund which aims to support the development of strategic communications to promote the fundamental values underlying the European Convention on Human Rights in the UK. 

Opening up communities, closing down institutions - report for Community Living for Europe: Structural Funds Watch on the impact of European Structural and Investment Funds in promoting and aiding the transition from institional care to community based living in the EU

Shadow report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - supporting Disability Rights UK and Disability Wales in the production of a shadow report on the UK's implementation of the UNCRPD

Response to the Government's Green Paper 'Disability, Health and Employment - Improving Lives' - supported Mencap in the drafting of a response to the Green Paper, including by interviewing people with learning disabilities, employers and staff connected to Mencap's employment services.

A statement of ambition on the future of social care in Scotland - via a multi-stakeholder dialogue, led the drafting of a 'statement of ambition' on the future shape and funding of social care in Scotland 

Reframing independent living - designed and led a day long seminar for Glasgow Disability Alliance on the value of framing and positioning in influencing change

The case for disabled people and their families to vote Remain in the EU Referendum - led a short public affairs campaign, securing coverage on BBC News, The Times, The Guardian and online for the case for disabled people and their families to vote for the UK to remain the EU

Alternative report to the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights - contributed to the alternative report and response to the list of issues concerning the UK by Just Fair concerning the UK's performance under the Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (based on the report 'Dignity and Opportunity for All')

Dementia and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - produced a position statement on behalf of Demential Alliance International and Alzheimers Disease International concerning the importance of the CRPD for the rights of persons with dementia

Supporting self-advocates with learning disabilities to apply for research funding - worked with Learning Disability England to support self-advocates to define and submit a proposal for funding to conduct research on independent living

Better use of the law and human rights by the voluntary sector - conducted a scoping exercise on behalf of the Baring Foundation regarding the potential of a new funding programme aimed at strengthening the voluntary sector

A Call to Action for the Common Good - supported a working group including CSV, Locality, NAVCA and the Blueprint for Better Business, supported by Carnegie Trust UK and CCLA to develop a 'story for change' via which the roles of civil society, the State and business can be re-imagined in support of the common good.  Organised two well-attended roundtable seminars, facilitated stakeholder engagement and drafted a discussion paper.

A manual for National Human Rights Institutions on the human rights of persons with disabiliities - as an associate consultant to the Centre for Disability Law and Policy at the University of Ireland in Galway producing an information and good practice manual for NHRI's regarding their work in support of the rights of persons with disabilities for the Asia Pacific Forum of NHRI's

Respecting, protecting and promoting the will and preferences of people with intellectual disabilities - conducted a series of interviews with senior leaders of organisations that are members of Inclusion International and produced a synthesis report to feed into the organisation's Right to Decide campaign

Developing a compelling business plan - supported Rights Watch UK to develop a compelling business plan to present to potential donors, which helped successfully secure funding.

Bridging the divide – matters to be taken into account in relation to the integration of national equality bodies and human rights institutions in the European Union - co-director of study by University College London and supported by the Nuffield Foundation to draw out lessons for policy makers and practitioners from existing research and from six EU country case-studies regarding matters to be taken into account in relation to the integration of equality bodies and national human rights institutions within the European Union area.  The final report was published in October 2013

Re-framing equality in the context of austerity - designed and delivered a seminar for Irish public authorities on behalf of the Irish Equality Authority exploring how equality can be re-framed to achieve greater relevance, prominence and influence in the context of austerity and how the positive impact of equality can be more clearly demonstrated. Participants scored the seminar a consistent 8-10 (out of 10).  

European Union initial report to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on EU implementation of UNCRPD  - conducted in depth interviews with European level disability organisations to inform the European Union's first report to the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and drafted the summary of the European Union's initial report.

Identifying strategic equality priorities - developed and facilitated a workshop for Citizens Advice national equality committee to identify strategic equality priorities 

Development of a major research funding application on disability rights - provided advice and support to the University of Ireland in Galway in putting together a major research funding application concerning disability rights in Europe.

The fundamental rights of persons with intellectual disabilities and persons with mental health problems in nine EU countries - based on qualitative research conducted across nine EU countries, co-wrote a synthesis report with Professor Anna Lawson from the University of Leeds regarding the experiences of people with intellectual disabilities or mental health problems of living independently and being included in the community.  The report will be published by the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights in Spring 2012

Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights Inquiry into the implementation of disabled people's right to independent living - acted as specialist adviser to the Committee, analysing evidence, providing legal and policy advice, drafting findings and recommendations.  

Promoting the rights to inclusive education and sustainable employment in the Commonwealth - supported the Commonwealth Secretariat with advocacy and capacity building activities concerning the rights of disabled people to inclusive education and sustainable employment across the Commonwealth.  

European Union Law and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities - presenting and facilitating at a seminar for legal and policy practitioners, organised by the European Law Academy in Trier

Promoting and protecting disability rights in Macedonia - co-designed and delivered a two day course for the equality body and Ombudsman of Macedonia on behalf of the Office for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE)

Glasgow Independent Living Strategy - contributed strategic and policy advice regarding the development of an independent living strategy by Glasgow City Council and its partners, working with Glasgow Disability Alliance

Independent Living in Scotland - chaired a roundtable discussion at the Scottish Parliament involving Members of the Scottish Parliament, Scottish Government, NHS, Scottish local government, academics and disability organisations on behalf of the Independent Living in Scotland project to discuss implementation of the right to independent living

Taking control of employment support - researched and co-authored a policy report for Disability Rights UK advocating that the current government employment support programmes are replaced by a system of dedicated budgets for disabled people and employers

Advisory groups

Department for Work and Pensions 'Fulfilling Potential' Analytical Advisory Group - member of advisory group contributing to DWP's comprehensive analysis of the situation of disabled people in the UK in 2013

Office for the Children's Commissioner research on disabled young people, poverty and rights - Member of advisory group for a study carried out on behalf of the Office for the Children's Commissioner for England exploring the relationship between poverty and the rights of disabled children 

Breaking the link between disability and poverty - Member of taskforce established by the Labour Party to advise on how to break the link between disability and poverty

Disability Research Independent Living and Learning (DRILL) - member of the England Advisory Group for the DRILL programme



What clients say about Neil Crowther Consulting 

"Neil Crowther has been hugely instrumental in enabling my team to think though how to frame important research questions and push forward for major international research funding.  He is a rare breed who inhabits the space between the worlds of ideas,  the lived reality of people with disabilities and the policy world.  The breadth of his vision and the sheer depth and quality of his knowledge is of vital importance in helping people see issues differently, emerge from silos and work toward solutions.  He is an excellent team player with a good instinctive feel for how to move collective goals forward.  I highly commend Neil and his work."

Professor Gerard Quinn, University of Ireland Centre for Disability Law and Policy 

"Neil Crowther and Phil McCarvill provided high quality, tailored training for the Irish Equality Authority, upskilling its staff on making the case for equality in the context of austerity and on utilising effectively existing opportunities to create pro-equality organisational change in partner organisations.  They possess extensive skills to support organisations to take action on equality even in a context of austerity."

Irish Equality Authority 

"Neil Crowther has contributed to two major research projects conducted by Human European Consultancy and its partners.  

 In the project Fundamental Rights of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities and Persons with Mental Health Problems (assignment of the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), Vienna) Neil has finalized with another member of the research team the synthesis research report and performed the final edit.

In the framework of the project Progress of the implementation by the EU of the UN Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and European Disability Strategy (assignment of the European Commission – DG Justice), Neil developed a questionnaire to interview EU-level civil society organisations representing persons with disabilities and civil society service organisations with interests and expertise in EU-level disability developments. He subsequently interviewed twelve organisations on the basis of the questionnaire, provided interview transcripts and a report synthesizing the findings of the interviews.   In both project Neil has performed excellently: knowledgeable, accurate, timely and focus on results. At the same time he is a very pleasant person to work with. I gladly recommend him for other assignments."

 Marcel Zwamborn Human European Consultancy – managing partner 

Neil Crowther planned and wrote a great report for us to submit to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  It significantly influenced the list of issues on which the UK government will soon be assessed by the Committee.  Neil's work included research, engagement with disabled people and organisations, speaking, advising and working with us at each step, alerting us to issues and opportunities.  It was a great partnership, with Neil working with energy, commitment and great knowledge and analytics skills.

Liz Sayce, Chief Executive, Disability Rights UK