Our Story

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Policy in Practice believes the welfare system can work more effectively. It can help people towards greater independence if we make it simple for people and organisations to understand.

We simplify the welfare system by showing people how policy affects them.

We show local authorities how individual households are affected by all policy changes, now and in the future.

We talk to government on a national level to influence policy.[/vc_column_text][vc_row_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_btn title=”Read about our software” color=”warning” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fpolicyinpractice.co.uk%2Fsoftware%2F|||”][/vc_column_inner][vc_column_inner width=”1/2″][vc_btn title=”Read about our consultancy” color=”warning” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fpolicyinpractice.co.uk%2Fconsultancy_%2F|||”][/vc_column_inner][/vc_row_inner][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Our Team

Deven Ghelani, Director

Deven founded Policy in Practice in 2012 to make policy work for people. He developed the Universal Benefit and Budgeting software to help advisors to bring policy to life in fast, engaging and easy to use way, and advises a range of organisation on how to bridge the gap between policy development and its implementation.

Deven moved into policy to make the welfare system simple, rewarding and effective. He was part of the team that developed Universal Credit at the Centre for Social Justice and has written extensively on welfare policy, government spending and employment. His publications include a comprehensive review of Universal Credit, a guide to maximising returns from public spending and an analysis of entry level employment.

Deven has worked on voluntary initiatives in the UK, Japan and East Africa. He enjoys cycling and playing football.

Frances Sinclair, Head of Admin Services

Frances occupies a lynchpin role at Policy In Practice, where her many years of people, project and office management experience provide support and expertise.

A UCL psychology graduate, Frances started her career as a strategic planner in advertising before moving to a qualitative research agency start-up. Here she gained experience setting up processes and procedures to ensure the business ran smoothly, while also helping to create a collaborative and nurturing culture in which people thrived and produced their best work. She honed this experience at other small agencies looking to expand and grow, before joining Policy in Practice.

When not in the office, Frances spends as much time as possible at vintage and flea markets,ideally combining visits to the seaside with her young son.

Mashhood Rastgar, Lead Developer

Mashhood is responsible for the development and maintenance of our platform. His extensive experience in developing web and mobile applications is key to delivering a first class product to our customers. Mashhood joined us right after graduating from UCL, where he completed his BSc Computer Science degree with honors.

When he is not programming, you will find him swimming or playing first person-shooters.

Terrin Mathew, Technical Data Analyst

Terrin is a Master’s Student at City University London studying Business Systems Analysis and Design. He brings his wide-ranging experience in the IT industry to help streamline processes at Policy in Practice, using a combination of his technical and analytical skills.

Terrin is also a skilled data visualiser and is keen to see how visualising data on geographic maps and charts can aid councils in their decision-making.

When not in the office, Terrin enjoys cycling and playing badminton.

Shivi Chandna, Business Analyst

Shivi completed her MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge in 2016. Prior to that she has extensive experience working with customers in India and China on different engineering solutions at technology companies such as Qualcomm and ARM.

Shivi is a software engineer by background and is passionate about using technology for social impact. She is excited to see the impact of Policy in Practice’s tools and analytics in the world of social welfare policy.

Janet Harkin, Head of Marketing

Janet leads the marketing function and has a background in traditional and digital marketing honed from roles in and around the public sector. She leads on promoting the services and work Policy in Practice does to help simplify the delivery of welfare reforms.

Having previously set up the marketing department for an e-learning provider to the public sector, Janet is no stranger to working with local government. Prior to that Janet worked as a Communications Officer with the Mental Health team at DoH and spent much of her early career in the philatelic department at Royal Mail.

Janet lives on a windy hillside in beautiful Donegal and commutes to the big smoke of London when she has to.

Jade Alsop, Commercial Director

Jade has worked within the public sector industry for over eight years in a number of roles, including as a Fostering Placement Service Manager.

Having started out in Finance Jade discovered she has a passion for business development and sales.

Like many in the public sector Jade enjoys seeing the positive difference that can be made not only to the local authorities but the end users. This is one of the reasons why Jade joined Policy in Practice.

In her spare time you will find Jade visiting historic places and enjoying time with her family.

Peter Carter, Business Account Manager

Peter is a sales professional who has delivered solutions across many industry sectors for many years. He started out by selling microfilm systems with 3M for document and information management and still believes in the importance of having the right technologies to support business process efficiency. For this reason he is proud to be working with Policy in Practice.

In his spare time Peter enjoys golf, is a business mentor and being the musical director for a Gang Show.

Pauline McGrellis, Business Account Manager

With a solid background in account management and business development, Pauline has dedicated her career to helping organisations improve business performance and staff development through the use of technology. She has enjoyed building client relationships within public and private sector organisations throughout the UK, Ireland, Europe, USA and New Zealand.

Pauline is delighted to be playing her part in helping customers tackle and prevent poverty, and improve the living standards of people.

Outside work Pauline enjoys spending quality time with her family and, on the odd occasion, you may find her on the squash court or at the golf course.

Tom Burnell-Nugent, Head of Client Services

Tom’s background is in operations, finance and analysis. He worked previously as COO at TVbeat, an AdTech company in the world of TV. Before TVbeat Tom was at Sky where he worked principally in finance, sales and technlogy. Tom joined Policy in Practice as he believes technology and innovation, which he has harnessed in the private sector, can be used in the public sector to help people who need it.

Giovanni Tonutti, Senior Policy and Operations Analyst

Giovanni holds an MSc in European Public Policy from UCL and a BSc (Hons) in Politics with Economics from the University of Bath.

He joined Policy in Practice as he is fascinated by the application of data analysis to the field of social policy.

A skilled linguist, Giovanni speaks English, Italian and Spanish. He also loves cycling and playing football.

Zoe Charlesworth, Policy and Product Manager

Zoe has worked in the field of revenues and benefits since 1985. She worked for many years as a Benefits Manager for Reading Borough Council and the Vale of White Horse District Council and was Principal Benefits Training Manager for the London Borough of Lambeth.

Following her years within local authorities Zoe worked as a Senior Consultant for the Association of District Councils Information Systems (ADCIS). She has published a variety of reports and books on local authority business including “Common Housing Registers: An IT Guide” (published by the Institute of Housing) “Local Authority Remote Site Surveillance” (published by the LGA) and “The CCTV Directory” (published by the LGA), She was also editor of the LGA publication “The Fraud Book”.

Juan Alvarez Vilanova , Policy and Operations Analyst

Juan graduated from University College London with a BSc in Economics & Geography, which included a term studying at the Université de Toulouse.

He joined Policy in Practice eager to apply his experiences working in the charity and tech sectors to deliver rigorous policy analysis. Specifically, Juan is interested in how innovative data visualisation and mapping can help deliver better policy insights.

Juan speaks Spanish and French, as well as some Khmer after spending 6 months volunteering for an NGO in Cambodia.

When away from the office, he enjoys his evening philosophy classes, Scandinavian TV and anything aviation-related.

Megan Mclean, Policy and Operations Intern

Megan holds an MA (Hons) in History and Politics from Edinburgh University. Following university, she spent two months volunteering in refugee camps in Northern France.

She is joining Policy in Practice with an enthusiasm to learn how to use data analysis to find potential improvements to social policy. When away from the office, she enjoys boxing and running.


Malcolm Gardner

Malcom has been working as a manager in Revenues and Benefits and as a consultant since 1996. Malcolm is known for his use of performance management and has successfully transformed several Revenues and Benefit teams into smarter services offering real value for money.

Paul Howarth

Paul worked for DWP and its predecessors for 38 years before retiring in October 2011. He was responsible for agreeing with Ministers the overall strategy for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Support for Mortgage Interest. One of Paul’s main achievements at DWP was to transform the relationship with local authorities through better engagement and communication. He has developed a very good understanding of the relationship between central and local government.

Investors and Advisors

Sean Williams

Sean Williams started his career in the employment support sector, working as a frontline Unemployment Advisor in Brent, London. Since then, he has worked in research, policy, business development and operational management for some of the largest, most successful public service providers in the UK. He was Managing Director of G4S Employment Services until 2014, and left to support initiatives he was passionate about.

Martin Leuw

Martin Leuw is a digital, social entrepreneur and active investor with hands on experience of early stage, corporate ventures and high growth businesses.  He is the Chairman of Clearswift and Leathwaite and former Group CEO (2001-2011) of IRIS Software Group, where he drove growth from subscription revenues of £9m to over £120m per annum. A regular awards judge for programmes such as Big Venture Challenge, Martin is also a columnist for business magazines as well as The Times and Daily Telegraph. He won EY Entrepreneur of the Year in Communications & Technology, 2006, and is an Enterprise Fellow at the Prince’s Trust.

Alexander Stevenson

Alexander Stevenson co-founded RSe Consulting, a public sector consultancy specialising in Local Government which was bought by Tribal Group.   He is the author of ‘Public Sector: Managing the Unmanageable’.  He is also a trustee of the Young Foundation and Chair of Create Streets.

We have taken on social investment from investors who share our vision of making policy work for people.