Presentation on theme: "VCS engagement with regional and sub-region public sector decision-making Katie Schmuecker Research Fellow, ippr north This research is made possible by."— Presentation transcript:
VCS engagement with regional and sub-region public sector decision-making Katie Schmuecker Research Fellow, ippr north This research is made possible by support from
Context New governance spaces at the regional and sub-regional levels Opportunity to develop a more deliberative democracy? Policy developments both regionally… –SNR …and sub-regionally –City regions Uncertain future following Conservative Green Paper Control Shift? –Unlikely in practice to herald end of regional / sub- regional tier
Background Part of wider ippr north programme of work on regional / sub-regional governance Main focus: economic development (broadly interpreted) Rhetorical commitment to the engagement of the VCS in policy-making
Key research questions What is rationale for VCS engagement with strategic partnerships at the regional and sub-regional levels in England? What is the perception of strategic partnership working at the regional and sub-regional level among VCS leaders and infrastructure organisations? And in the public and private sectors? What steps does the public sector need to take to engage with the VCS more successfully? What steps does the VCS need to take to further develop engagement with the public sector at the regional and sub-regional levels? What skills, traits and competencies should be displayed by VCS leaders in order to engage more effectively?
Methodology Desk based research Focus groups –1 x frontline organisations; 1 x infrastructure organisations Interviews –VCS, Public and private sector Online Survey –137 responses –Good spread of respondents, although highly engaged
Why the research matters? …and for work of organisation… Regions / Sub-regions regarded as Important for policy making…
Why the research matters? …but dont feel able to feed in views and experience
Emerging findings- Why engage? VCS believes has much to offer…
Emerging findings- Why engage? …and potentially to gain.
Input is valued by the public sector –Especially in relation to employability and skills –But how deeply rooted? Argument needs to be that engagement will improve policy outcomes Emerging findings- Why engage?
Emerging findings- Perspectives on strategic engagement Relationship has improved… …but still concerns about tokenism Complexity and capacity two key issues: –Complexity of the public sector structures –Resourcing and capacity of VCS infrastructure organisations a concern… –…as is their complexity –And the myriad of VCS voices makes representation challenging
Emerging findings- Perspectives on strategic engagement Relationship between large VCS organisations and infrastructure organisations? Power relations with the public sector Personal relations with the public sector
Emerging findings- Skills for strategic engagement
Broadly in line with VCS Skills Survey 2007 –Information/research/policy; partnership working; negotiating and influencing; communication Public sector also highlighted: –Strategic thinking; interpersonal skills; awareness of other organisations limitations; understanding of politics
Tentative conclusions- Collective actions Joint responsibility for developing greater stakeholder engagement? Shared approaches to deepening understanding? –Movement between sectors? –Inter-organisational rather than inter-personal relationships? –Joint training?
Tentative conclusions- Actions for the public sector Survey respondents would like to see engagement through: –VCS infrastructure organisations (73%) –Inviting VCS representatives onto boards and partnerships (72%) –Regular outreach sessions and events specifically for the VCS (70%)
Tentative conclusions- Actions for the public sector Accessible information? Dedicated resources to support VCS engagement? Structured engagement – duty to engage; LSP- type model? A corporate approach to the VCS - implementing the compact? Simplifying the regional and sub-regional processes of strategy development? Simplifying the regional and sub-regional bureaucracy?
Tentative conclusions- Actions for the VCS Skills development? Invest in more policy officers - perhaps shared? How can feedback and representation mechanisms be further developed? Moving beyond individuals? –Succession planning; career development Streamline own bureaucracy? Share good practice? Develop a concept of VCS citizenship?