Defra’s mNCEA programme wins prestigious award

By Methods8 December 2022

We are delighted to hear that the team delivering the marine Natural Capital and Ecosystem Assessment Programme has won the ‘Data-Driven Defra’ award at yesterday’s Defra Group annual awards ceremony!

Permanent Secretary Tamara Finkelstein, announcing the winner, stated that as a partnership programme with Defra’s Arm’s Length Bodies (ALBs), the team is utilising new and ambitious data collection methods and technologies including earth observation, autonomous vehicles, and new data modelling techniques. The programme is testing the boundaries of how AI technology is used, partnering with UK Research and Innovation as well as industry. Together, this creates a powerful story of how Defra can recover, protect, and grow our natural assets for the benefit of the environment, economy, and society. It is an exciting position for Defra to be international leaders in the field, having moved from theory to applying natural capital approaches to achieve real world impact.

Methods worked as Delivery Partner to the Programme to:

  • develop the mNCEA target operating model
  • establish and support the operation of a proportionate and effective Programme Management environment allowing Defra and its ALB’s to collaborate on the research and development required to turn the concept of ‘natural capital’ into tangible outcomes and benefits
  • develop the programme business case and deliver it through approval gateways
  • transfer knowledge from core roles to Defra and ALB colleagues ensuring sustainable capability was maintained following handover.

This new award category celebrates a team that clearly demonstrates that it is consistently data-driven in its work and is committed to ensuring decisions are informed by data and analysis. They showcase the value of evidence in the design and delivery of public policy, demonstrating an active data culture where data is an integral part of their business, used by all to make better decisions more often. Data is used to tell clear and compelling narratives, and analysis is explained meaningfully for all users and in a way that recognises their different needs.

We are proud to have worked on this programme, with such a committed and passionate team.

What makes this programme so exciting, is that it has achieved so much already in its first year and there is still so much more to come.

Congratulations to all the team at Defra – a thoroughly deserved win.


Defra mncea team