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Developing the partnership between third sector organisations and regional bodies

Malcolm Williams Presentation to the public and third sector partnership conference 7th July 2009


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Aim of the study  Developing Partnership Working  identify those bodies and organisations in the Third Sector that directly relate to Public Sector Agencies in the Region  provide a clear strategy to develop the relationship between the two sectors, driving engagement in service delivery and procurement  identify actions that will contribute to the development of the Regional Compact and Action Plan

 Develop an Action Plan  recommend changes  identify actions for regional bodies, partners and third sector organisation  ensure actions have identified leads, partner capacity and that progress can be monitored  seek support from the major partners.


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The issue - interfaces between the third and public sector Key Infrastructure

Small TSOs

Practitioner organisations

Third Sector

Public Sector

LA, PCT

Key interfaces Non-statutory Statutory

Medium TSOs

Large TSOs

City regions, SRPs

GONW, NWDA. 4NW, NHS NW, NW RIEP


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Method       

Literature and data review Scoping interviews Survey of 100 representatives of both sectors Case study work & further interviews Workshop VCS Conference (7th July) Final Report end July 2009


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Background – North West third sector  31,400 third sector organisations  VSNW membership organisations represent 19,800 region-wide.  672,000 volunteers  137,000 trustees  64,000 employees  wages and salaries worth £890m  £2.47bn of GVA?  55% government funded Source: VSNW September 2008, Response to the North West Regional Evidence Base Consultation, drawing on Hoshin (2007) and the UK Vol Sector Workforce Almanac.


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Should the third sector participate more in shaping policy?

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Number of respondents

45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Public sector

Agree

Neither agree nor disagree

Third Sector

Disagree

Infrastructure

Other

No answ er


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Should the third sector participate more in service delivery?

50

Number of respondents

45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Public sector

Agree

Neither agree nor disagree

Third Sector

Disagree

Infrastructure

Other

No answ er


But‌ barriers to third sector participating more in shaping policy

Number of respondents

60 50 40 30 20 10 0

Resources/ capacity

Clear 3rd Access/ Knowing how Poor credibilty sector engagement to become of 3rd sector representation with public involved sector

Public sector

Third sector

National/ regional interface

Infrastructure

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Number of respondents

…barriers to third sector participating more in shaping policy (continued) 10 8 6 4 2 0

No evidence of impact

Understand 3rd sector offer

Public sector

Changes in personnel, policy and structures Third sector

Diversity of sector

Competing geographical interests

Infrastructure

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Barriers to greater third sector delivery of public services

Number of respondents

35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0

Capacity complex procurement rules

Funding Understanding Competitive Size/length Contact Need for joint Lack of 3rd sector tendering of contracts points in gvt working tendering offer opportunities

Public sector

Third sector

Infrastructure


Is the existing infrastructure adequate to represent the third sector at regional level? 50 Number of respondents

45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 Public sector

Agree

Neither agree nor disagree

Third Sector

Disagree

Infrastructure

Other

No answ er

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Key Messages  Complex structures confuse both sectors  Clarify and improve structures, processes, mechanisms  Improve co-ordination, communications and relationships

 The third sector needs to up its game but also needs support to improve its capacity to deliver  Understanding of procurement

 Could the public sector provide and support a more cohesive approach to engagement and commissioning?  Representative structures will never be the only method for interaction  This prevents campaigning, or thematic experts operating  National third sector organisations often deal directly with LAs  Improve representation and consultation networks


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Key action areas      

Leadership Financial support Commissioning Communication and engagement Infrastructure Capacity and Skills


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Key action areas: Leadership  Identify the key bodies involved in both sectors?  Get key personnel identified and involved at the right levels and locate critical points of external partnership in each organisation?  State key processes where the RS2010 needs third sector inputs?  Pinpoint possible infrastructure & strategy development – how can it happen, and where – and if there is strategic investment to support it?  And look at not just the partners but their roles: who really needs to be where, and doing what  And the need for culture change

 But being clear what can really happen/be driven at regional level


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Key action areas: Financial Support  Public sector agencies to work together to improve quality of, and common approaches to, procurement?  Public sector agencies to explore joint investment in  capacity-building identified third sector agencies for consortia approaches  a step change to the quality of the third sector infrastructure at regional level?

 Third sector to make a much clearer offer in terms of its input into strategy development, and consortium or cross-sector bidding?


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Key action areas: Commissioning  Regional bodies to act as exemplars of commissioning, demystifying the procurement process and opening competition up to third sector deliverers?  Encourage consortia of third sector organisations?  Identify the key partners in the public sector who can act to improve consistency across the procurement process at local levels?  Need to balance commissioning requirements against ability to innovate at grassroots level?


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Key action areas: Communications and engagement

 A clear statement from the public sector partners about what they want from third sector input into strategy, service design and delivery?  The third sector to produce a map of its infrastructure, key organisations and players, establishing its representative credibility and functions?  The third sector offer to include bringing forward key practitioners, experts and partners to take part in thematic forums, take up championing roles etc?  The third sector to identify key partners in sub-regional bodies and target a strengthened role in MAAs, LAAs and city regions?


Key action areas: Third sector infrastructure development ď‚— Strengthen third sector interaction with regional bodies through rationalising the gateway with regional bodies into a relationship defined by a service level agreement or project-driven joint-action programme? ď‚— Support this gateway through improving the cohesion of sub-regional partnerships into a strong and inclusive consortium, which must be backed up by a clear and demonstrable reach to local infrastructure and front-line service providers?

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Key action areas: Third sector capacity and skills

 Third sector to improve its capacity and skills through a variety of techniques such as:  Training in procurement  Development of engagement skills  Understanding of public sector infrastructure and commissioning processes  Developing sustainable approaches to funding investment?

 Public sector to improve its understanding of the third sector through:  Training to understanding the sector as a whole and the value of local services and voluntary input?  More interaction with third sector champions


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Contact

Malcolm Williams Associate Director SQW Consulting t. 0161 4752103 e. mwilliams@sqw.co.uk w. www.sqw.co.uk


http://www.nwda.co.uk/Docs/09757%20-%20NWDA%20-%20Partnerships%20between%20TSOs%20and%20regional%20b