Ila Chandavarkar, MENTER


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Ila Chandavarkar, MENTER

  1. 1. Regional Characteristics (1)• Mainly rural region with no big cities – 43% live in rural authorities, 25% of UK market towns in the East; poor public transport throughout region; influence of London• Ageing population: over 50% will be over 50 by 2020 -60% of these will be disabled or a carer; region with the second highest levels of pensioner poverty• People who are working (30%) represent a larger proportion of those in poverty than the unemployed or pensioners; region with one of the highest levels of debt and personal insolvency• 21% now either has ill health or long term medical conditions
  2. 2. Regional Characteristics (2)• Considered “affluent” masking the effect of social deprivation; 34% have an income of less than £15,000 and one million cannot afford essential housing items; there are no adequate indicators to measure rural poverty• A region that gets one of the lowest amounts in terms of public funds; fairly low in terms of discretionary funds as well e.g. Big Lottery Fund• Recent changes in ethnic profile from 8% in 2001 to almost 15% in 2009; high number of migrant workers; highest number of Gypsies and Travellers in the UK• 38% of the adult population now live alone – implications for health, housing, well being and social inclusion
  3. 3. State of the sector in the East1. VCS mainly small organisations with only 10% with over 10 full time employees2. A quarter of organisations have a turnover of less than £50003. Two thirds do not receive funding from national state bodies4. A 2011 survey conducted by MENTER for the regional VCS consortium found that 70% of support services are currently using reserves and have cut back on the volume of support services; many do not have a financial plan for sustainability; two thirds of infrastructure organisations run front line services and trading activities5. Local surveys report growing numbers of volunteers who do not find a volunteering placement usually because support needs are lacking for these volunteers
  4. 4. What is MENTER• A Regional network for Black & Minority Ethnic (BME) voluntary organisations and community groups in the East of England reaching 300+ BME groups• Managed by a voluntary management board of 15 trustees from member groups and advisors including the CEO from COVER, the generic voluntary sector network for the region• Offering the following services: advocacy for BME communities, partnership development, policy briefings, training/information, support services to help with organisational development and funding, involvement in promotion of equalities and human rights, enabling proper access to justice e.g. in discrimination, enabling access to services for education, employment and skills development, welfare and health/social care
  5. 5. MENTER beneficiaries1. BME communities from over 50 different countries of origin, including newer Eastern European communities.3. Asylum seekers & refugees5. Migrant workers – it is believed that over 200,000 have come to this region7. Gypsies & Travellers – the East of England has the highest number in the UK
  6. 6. Issues affecting BME communities• Poverty rates of over 60% in some communities e.g. Bangladeshi and Pakistani with corresponding high child poverty rates (BTEG 2011 statistics); 50-65% are “in work” poverty• Unemployment rates in young Black men nationally of over 55% (29% three years ago) as contrasted to 24% (15% three years ago) in White young men (March 2012 statistics)• 2009 DWP survey showing recruitment discrimination rates in the private sector of 35% as compared to 4% rates in the public sector – prior to public sector spending cuts and opening up public services• Chronic exclusion of Gypsies and Travellers: Dales Farm eviction showed a local authority prepared to transfer £18 million to the eviction – money which should have been used to develop sites• Disproportionate Stop and Search
  7. 7. Issues for the BME VCS in the East 2010 MENTER survey• 12% of organisations do not distinguish trustee function from delivering services• 61% have no paid staff; only 13% have over 6 staff; 49% have annual income of less than £5000 - % with low or no income doubling since 2005.• Increase in groups from Black African and Eastern European communities; decrease in Caribbean, Chinese, Irish, Pakistani, Vietnamese, Bangladesh, Indian and Gypsy/Traveller; new groups include Thai, Afghan, Iraqi, Philipino, Sri Lankan, Iranian and Malaysian• Change in services provided: over a quarter now do not provide ESOL or language support• 38% saw reduction in funding; local authority funding dropped from 61% in 2004 to 34%; 41% self funded
  8. 8. Key messages in terms of measuring impactEvidence is not just about data collection of outputs and outcomesIt is about planning, about stories of what changed and what was the result and how this learning can be best capturedIt is about measuring total value – primary and secondary users, primary and secondary outcomes i.e. Core users and others affected, primary and secondary satisfaction levels i.e. Satisfaction to core users and satisfaction to others
  9. 9. Barriers to using VIP• Monitoring can be very resource heavy. The Dial structure is useful in that it covers all areas but it has too many levels to measure at one time. E.g. The organisation dial measures income, strategy, learning, leadership and governance, people, managing resources, communication and creating impact. It is not possible to use all of the levels and all of the tools but useful to see this as a guide.• Dependent on fragile front line groups to collect and pass on information on how MENTER infrastructure support has impacted on their users as well as on their organisation. This is an unrealistic expectation even without recognition of the number of groups where there is not enough confidence in written English
  10. 10. Measures for the Develop function• Effective governance• Clear needs analysis and planning to meet needs• Financial sustainability• Effective feedback collection
  11. 11. Measures for the Influence function• Map local policy forums that are important for BME communities and measure BME representation / participation levels• which decision makers at what level are listening to campaigns• changes in attitude• using the problem tree model to introduce a race equality dimension to policy [problem: roots causes of problem, trunk core problem, branches effects; solution: roots solutions for causes, trunk new vision, branches changes in stakeholders]
  12. 12. Measures for the Connect function• Develop criteria for partnerships and evaluate partnerships for effectiveness in terms of MENTER; be very clear about the intended outcome for connection• Map present connections/relationships for particular policy topic; measure to see if this relationship network has grown and if it has, what this growth has brought• Measure links i.e. chain to bigger, stronger networks and how this has advanced message• Survey to measure (over time) stakeholder awareness of MENTER and the particular message; previous surveys had focussed only on MENTER as an organisation
  13. 13. The Future• MENTER has downsized – less officer time, need to review how to use VIP most effectively• Continue connections with other infrastructure organisations to lobby for resourcing of a sector led infrastructure and use VIP to show value for money• Use VIP to measure impact to influence appropriate equality proofing of policy
  14. 14. Ila Chandavarkar62 – 64 Victoria Road, Cambridge Email: Tel: 075 9589 3638