8 th REGENERATION MANAGEMENT RESEARCH NETWORK Matching rhetoric with reality: the challenge for third sector involvement in local governance Wednesday.
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8 th REGENERATION MANAGEMENT RESEARCH NETWORK Matching rhetoric with reality: the challenge for third sector involvement in local governance Wednesday 18 th June 2008 Matthew Jackson, Senior Policy Researcher
Information and publications service Training and events Policy Research Consultancy Policy Advice About CLES and our work on local governance
The role of the third sector in local governance? ‘The voluntary sector, described by Kendall and Knapp (1995) as a ‘loose and baggy monster’, is made up of many diverse organisations ranging from the multitude of unregistered and unincorporated associations through national and international service providers and multi-million pound organisations, but there is no universal agreement on the exact nature of the beast’ (Myers and Sacks, 2001)
Why are CLES bothered about the third sector? local economic contributors service delivery fairness social equality and justice local knowledge – local solutions compliment the local authority some strategic skills a variety and diversity local government modernisation
The changing view of the third sector Not fluffy but hard Not grants but contracts Not peripheral but central Not just volunteering but employment Not necessarily small scale Not disorganised but professional
Two Waves? Increasing central value of their role Wave 1 – ‘voice’ Major regeneration programmes City Challenge SRB Community Empowerment Networks Local Strategic Partnerships Wave 2 – ‘strategic engager and deliverer’ Strategic governance contracts AND grants Sustainable Community Strategies Local Area Agreements The waves of third sector involvement in local governance
What are Local Area Agreements? Local Community National Priorities Monitoring and Reporting Outcomes Scrutiny Sustainable Communities Strategy Funding LAA Enterprise & Economic Development Healthier communities, and older people Safer and stronger communities Children and young people --------------------------------------------------- LAA Reward Grant LSP Local Community Local Partners Commissioning
Delivery focused PSA Target Funding for infrastructure, knowledge and capacity Statements of involvement for LSP/LAA/LDF/ A central commitment ‘grants’ to ‘contracts’ Efficiency AND effectiveness The policy rhetoric
A mixed picture across the country Involvement dependent upon quality of umbrella representative bodies approach of local authority time and capacity size of organisation Understanding of the role of the sector aspirations around funding The reality
A range of barriers to engagement Lack of trust Poor communication ‘junior partners’ What do the third sector do? Low levels of professional skills Perceived reliance upon grants Barriers to engagement
Playing the local governance game A build upon existing strong relationships Play to your strengths Base involvement upon effective delivery Co-ordinate and deliver The benefits of involvement Growth and influence Delivery sustainability An opportunity for engagement An opportunity to communicate Good practice in reality
Local Government White Paper Ramped Up Importance of Local Area Agreements: role of local authority New Duties for development, negotiation and delivery New performance indicators The Third Sector Funding the LAA National indicators, new LAAs and the third sector
A typology of indicators 1. Easy to measure through national data sources NI 151 – Overall employment rate 2. Partner dependent 2. N1 152 – Working age people on out of work benefits 3. Perceptive and service user focused 3. NI 1 - % of people who believe people from different backgrounds get on well together in their local area 4. Strong link to policy priorities 4. NI 117 – 16 – 18 year olds who are not in education, training or employment 5. National priority focused NI 35 – Building resilience to violent extremism 6. Difficult to measure NI 7 – environment for a thriving third sector Performance indicators
The spectrum of third sector involvement How could the third sector be involved in local governance – a spectrum of roles: Level 1 As a Communicator of activities Level 2 As a Local Authority/ Community Broker Level 3 As an advocate of policy Level 4 Through a Third Sector Infrastructure Body Level 5 As a Thematic Partner Level 6 As a Strategic Partner / Lead Level 7 As a Service Deliverer Level 8 As a Strategic Deliverer
Organisations need to ask themselves a series of questions: Does the organisation have the capacity to be involved in local governance activities? Does the organisation have the strategic capacity? Does involvement in local governance distract from project activity? Does involvement in local governance correlate with the ethos, aims and objectives of the organisation? Does involvement in local governance come based upon strong existing links or is the organisation in effect moving into new themes and arenas and geographical areas? How will involvement in local governance affect the organisations service users and members? The future role – what do the sector need to do?
Local governance mechanisms need to: Understand the diversity of the sector Understand the variety of the sector Assess the strategic capacity of the third sector Look beyond the usual suspects Build up relations with and listen to third sector umbrella bodies Engage the third sector in service planning as well as strategic governance The future role – what do local governance mechanisms need to do?
Are the third sector ready for this? Is there the local authority commitment to third sector delivery? Does it really mean better outcomes and more effective delivery? Are the third sector really a loose and baggy monster? Further information 0161 236 7036 email@example.com@cles.org.uk Conclusion