Organisations Collaborating At The Local Level


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Organisations Collaborating At The Local Level

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Organisations Collaborating At The Local Level

  1. 1. Central targets or local planning? Changing dynamics for statutory and voluntary organisations collaborating at the local level Mike Aiken PhD. Visiting Research Fellow, Open University and Research Associate, Institute for Voluntary Action Research A paper prepared for presentation at the Birkbeck-IVAR Partnership 2007 Seminar Series ‘Community Organisations: Research, Policy and Practice’ Seminar One – Wednesday 24 th January 2007
  2. 2. How far does local decentralisation take place? <ul><li>• Research example: ‘work integration’ (work & training for disadvantaged groups) </li></ul><ul><li>How far are activities and policy in this area linked to social inclusion needs? </li></ul><ul><li>How do local statutory & third sector organisations co-operate? </li></ul><ul><li>How far does local decentralisation take place? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Thinking theoretically…some models of governance to inform on local decentralisation? <ul><li>Hierarchy (bureaucratic, standardisation, accountability) </li></ul><ul><li>Self-governance (partnership with active citizens) </li></ul><ul><li>Rational Goal (managerialist, targets, measures) </li></ul><ul><li>Open systems (network system of interaction) </li></ul><ul><li>Markets (competitive/quasi markets) </li></ul><ul><li>Janet Newman (2001) </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Research <ul><li>Drawn from a 4 country EU project (EMDELA) </li></ul><ul><li>EMELDA examined indicators for local policy making on work & training programmes </li></ul>
  5. 5. Case studies in Bristol & Nottingham… findings from: <ul><ul><li>• Job Centre Plus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Local Authority </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Third sector ‘work integration’ organisation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>• Community-based organisation </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Findings: 1. Job Centres <ul><li>Core programme: welfare benefits administered </li></ul><ul><li>Key role: broker between unemployed & jobs market </li></ul><ul><li>Mainly refer to contracted out suppliers around specialist issues </li></ul><ul><li>Scope to network/ some pilot projects </li></ul><ul><li>… but little discretion with funds </li></ul><ul><li>… and strong national targets </li></ul><ul><li>Efficiency savings and regionalisation: staff cutbacks; bundling of contracts to large orgs </li></ul>
  7. 7. Findings: 2. Local Authorities <ul><li>• Diminishing direct role in training and employment </li></ul><ul><li>• Little mainstream money - need special programmes </li></ul><ul><li>Partnership with other agencies including joint bidding for funds </li></ul><ul><li>Policy on Work & Training is part of other policy </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic work (city strategies, skills strategies, planning gain etc from urban developments) </li></ul><ul><li>Use of own procurement processes and use own role as employer creatively </li></ul>
  8. 8. 3.Third sector Work Integration Social Enterprise: entry level jobs & training
  9. 9. Findings: 3. Work integration orgs <ul><li>Undertaking important work wanted by Job Centre but little funding </li></ul><ul><li>Contracts demanded tight outcomes: tendency to creaming ‘less disadvantaged’ </li></ul><ul><li>Hard to obtain funding for wider social incl. needs </li></ul><ul><li>Large regional contracts makes it harder to bid </li></ul><ul><li>Pressure to meet business targets for productivity </li></ul><ul><li>Funding regimes not flexible to local needs in terms of target groups </li></ul>
  10. 10. 4. Community anchor: social integration with progression routes
  11. 11. Findings: 4. Community-based organisations <ul><li>Widely ‘courted’ by other partners </li></ul><ul><li>Broader aims may help them in partnerships </li></ul><ul><li>Funding short term and precarious - bundling of contracts makes it hard to bid </li></ul><ul><li>Integrated provision possible (addiction, benefits advice, informal learning, drop-in, childcare) </li></ul><ul><li>Progression routes possible (from informal volunteering and learning) </li></ul><ul><li>NRFund seen as more flexible than other progs </li></ul><ul><li>National programmes stithed together at local level </li></ul>
  12. 12. Community organisation: putting training, progression & social integration together locally
  13. 13. Issues arising in attempts at decentralisation in work, employment & social inclusion field <ul><li>Local decentralisation: dominated by national targets - little local flexibility on policy </li></ul><ul><li>Changing pattern of local/regional remits </li></ul><ul><li>Bundled contracts can take away the local knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Many partnerships! Sometimes good but too many? </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Work first’ tendency - social inclusion not central enough to work integration </li></ul><ul><li>Some disadvantaged ‘creamed’, ‘churned’ or drop out </li></ul><ul><li>Community-based orgs put provision together locally </li></ul>
  14. 14. Conclusion: model or muddle? <ul><li>Mixed governance models: at times ‘hierarchical’ or ‘rational goal’ from central planning mixed with ‘self-governance’ and ‘open systems’ and ‘quasi-markets’ between local orgs (Newman 2001) </li></ul><ul><li>Two ‘good’ case examples chosen… </li></ul><ul><li>… where local actors work creatively to stitch the picture together at local level </li></ul><ul><li>Accidental heroes - is it sustainable? </li></ul>