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.

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.

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.

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.

Patrick Linehan, Sales Director

Patrick leads our sales operations and has 12 years of global business development experience across media, real estate and consulting. He brings a wealth of experience in best in class client relationship management.

An expert in go-to-market strategy, Patrick has a passion for personal development, business development and unlocking potential in people and ideas. Patrick ensures the quality work we do gets to the people who can benefit from it most.

Patrick’s business heroes include Stephen Covey, Robin Sharma, Jack Welch and Zig Ziglar. A keen sportsman, he enjoys amateur boxing and football.

Peter Carter, Sales and 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.

Jade Alsop, Sales and Account Manager

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.

Charayne Crossley, Sales and Account Manager

Charayne has developed her career in sales over the last 10 years, working for household organisations like John Lewis and Parcelforce Worldwide.

Her experience of becoming a parent at a young age and not fully understanding her financial options makes Charayne passionate about Policy in Practice’s vision to make the welfare system more effective.

Helping local authorities and housing associations explain the welfare system in simple way is her driver, as she says it would have changed her own life as a young parent.

In her spare time Charayne loves going to the cinema, travelling and spending time with her husband and three beautiful children.

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”.

Leonardo Kellaway, Policy and Software Researcher

Leonardo graduated from King’s College, University of Cambridge with a BA (Hons) in Politics, Psychology and Sociology.

Combining policy analysis and technology to make the welfare system simpler, fairer and more efficient is what attracted Leonardo to Policy in Practice.

When not crunching numbers or analysing government reports, Leonardo enjoys football, cooking and going to the gym.

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.

Jethro Martin, Policy and Operations Intern

Jethro recently graduated from London School of Economics with a MSc in Political Economy of Europe and has a background in economics and finance.

He particularly enjoyed studying classes in social policy and conducting research using large data sets and analysing results.

The use of data and technology to ensure the welfare system works for citizens attracted Jethro to Policy in Practice and he is keen to help further their goal of reducing poverty.

In his spare time Jethro enjoys running, playing football and cycling.


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 that share our vision of making policy work for people.