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  • O’Brien / Governance Design

  • Helping Boards fulfil their responsibilities

  • Helping organisations implement effective governance

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Our Approach

We work with organisations to design and implement governance systems and structures that are proportionate, strategic and valuable.

Why Effective Governance?

Effective governance integrates decision-making structures with strategy and planning, policies and procedures, and internal and external engagement, in order to improve performance.

What is Governance?

Governance refers to accountability, decision-making processes, and the exercise of authority.

O’BRIEN / Governance Design specialises in three areas of governance:

  • The governance of organisations
  • The governance of programmes
  • The governance of policy

The services provided for each of these are detailed below.

Why do you need Effective Governance?

Effective governance contributes to the implementation of strategy, brings efficiencies, encourages respectful debate, integrates functions, and aligns aims with resources. We work with organisations to make sure that their governance design is capable of achieving these benefits and of positively contributing to their operations.

Trish O'Brien

Trish O’Brien established O’BRIEN / Governance Design in 2016. She works with a number of Associates in fulfilling its services and brings the following experiences to the business:

Team Member
Trish O'Brien

Founder / Owner

  • Over two decades of middle and senior management experience evenly divided between the private and public sectors.
  • Working with an extensive network of government departments and agencies, professional and representative bodies, and private enterprises.
  • Completion of a Doctorate in Governance.

  • The provision of governance supports to Boards and committees.
  • The evaluation of Boards and Committees.
  • Leading programme and organisation evaluations.
  • Designing and documenting policies, procedures and guidelines in the public and private sectors.

Our Services

Governance design, implementation and review needs vary from organisation to organisation. We have a range of tailored services to suit your requirements.

Governance of Organisations

Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies

The extensively revised Code of Practice for the Governance of State Bodies took effect in September 2016. The Code requires that internal and external evaluations are undertaken against its provisions. In support of the implementation of the Code, we provide the following services:
  • The provision of introductory workshops to the Code and its requirements.
  • Facilitation of Board and Committee self-evaluations (provision 4.6).
  • Conducting external evaluations (provision 4.6).
  • Supporting the achievement of compliance against the revised Code.
The Governance Code

The Governance Code is described as a resource to assist, community, voluntary and charity organisations to develop their overall capacity in terms of how they run their organisations. In support of the implementation of the Code, we provide the following services:
  • The provision of introductory workshops to the Code and its requirements.
  • Facilitation of Board self-evaluation.
  • Conducting external evaluations.
  • Supporting the achievement of compliance against the Governance Code.
Other Supports for the Operation of Boards

  • Working with Boards to plan how they will fufil their functions on an annual basis.
  • Developing policies to support the operation of the Board.
  • Supporting the establishment and operation of committees.
  • Enhancing executive and Board collaboration.
Organisational Review

An organisation can be subject to external review, or may carry out an internal review to establish its effectiveness and future direction. In this context, we provide the following services:
  • Assisting organisations to design and document a review model.
  • Carrying out part of the review, for instance, consultation with external stakeholders on the performance of the organisation.
  • Carrying out the entire review on behalf of the organisation or the commissioning body and devising recommendations.

Governance of Programmes

National and European programmes are established to advance economic and social objectives. Increasingly, evidence is required that they have been successful in meeting those objectives through the undertaking of evaluations. Our services in this area include:
  • Conducting evaluations to establish the effectiveness of a given programme or initiative.
  • Analysing evaluation outcomes and formulating recommendations.
  • Documenting the outcomes of evaluations in report format.

Governance of Policy

Governance of policy is largely concerned with how public bodies determine policy direction, facilitate participation in decision-making, and review policy outcomes. Our services in this area include:
  • Conducting research to inform policy.
  • Facilitating and undertaking consultation processes.
  • Developing guidelines to support the implementation of policy.

Contact Us

Get in touch via our contact form or email us directly. We will get back to you as soon as possible.

O’Brien / Governance Design
Suite 27
Castleyard
20/21 St Patrick’s Road
Dalkey
Co Dublin