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DPULOs Making A Difference: working with commissioners


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Overview of a piece of work the Strengthening DPULOs Programme is doing on DPULOs working with commissioners.

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DPULOs Making A Difference: working with commissioners

  1. 1. DPULOs Making a Difference: Working with commissionersIntroductionThe Strengthening DPULOs Programme have commissioned acollection of case studies exploring the relationship betweenCommissioners and DPULOs. This work is part of the “DPULOs MakingA Difference” series, commissioned by the Strengthening DPULOsProgramme at the Office for Disability Issues (ODI). (You can find outmore about the programme by visiting or working in all areas of the public sector – social care,health, children’s services, employment, justice system, education etc. –will be vital to the future strength and sustainability of Disabled Peoples’User-Led Organisations.Yet the experience DPULOs have of commissioners – and thatcommissioners have of DPULOs – can be very varied. This gives rise toa wide variety of outcomes for DPULOs themselves and the work theydo: from thriving and growing year on year to struggling to survive fromone month to the next.Great examples exist of where DPULOs and commissioners haveworked well together for the benefit of disabled people in theircommunities. These examples include innovative use of commissioningand procurement, as well as through softer approaches such aspartnerships and relationships. Such “working well” leads to: The voice of disabled people being captured and represented in a local area Innovative and effective service delivery by DPULOs.However, these examples aren’t necessarily well known – to eitherDPULOs or commissioners. Furthermore, the factors underpinning whythis work happens in some places and not in others isn’t as wellunderstood as it should be.A collection of case studiesBuilding on and extending work that others have done (such as SCIE and ripfa the StrengtheningDPULOs Programme has commissioned a collection of case studies to
  2. 2. address these gaps. The collection will show how DPULOs andcommissioners have worked successfully together and the reasons forthis.The collection will cover: Examples of how commissioners and DPULOs have worked together The practicalities of how the relationship worked What the successful results were of this relationship The key factors that enabled this success to happen What general lessons we can learn from DPULOs and commissioners working successfully together.The case studies should provide examples of:- Commissioners reserving contracts for DPULOs using existing legislation and regulations (i.e. article 19 of the EU Procurement Directive) Significant contracts being issued for voice/engagement-related work Strategic partnerships / secondments between DPULOs and commissioners Commissioners working with DPULOs to support their move into new service delivery areas or taking over a failing service Effective engagement between DPULOs and emerging Health & Wellbeing Boards and local HealthWatch organisations A commissioner using a Section 106 agreement to benefit / establish a ULO How DPULOs and commissioners have worked together to deliver value for money at a time of austerity How commissioners and DPULOs have worked constructively together without compromising independence or voice A DPULO working with a commissioner to coproduce a tender specification How a DPULO and commissioner have worked together to address TUPE issues An example of a DPULO and commissioner working effectively together in employment, education or transportComplementary workThis collection of case studies would complement other work theStrenthening DPULOs Programme are doing on the role of
  3. 3. commissioners in the sustainability of DPULOs. This other workincludes: Promoting DPULOs through funding and procurement – targeted work with local authority commissioners in a particular region A piece of qualitative research with commissioners to understand their views and perspectives of DPULOs, and the barriers that may affect commissioners being able to buy the services of DPULOs.DisseminationThe collection of case studies would be widely disseminated through theDPULO network associated with the Strengthening DPULOsProgramme and all its communications channels, including the ODIwebsite, monthly email and social media.It is also the intention to disseminate this report to each local authority inthe country, as well as relevant representative bodies (such as the LocalGovernment Association). A full stakeholder map will be developed aspart of this work; any suggestions that people have of networks weshould share this work through would be welcome.The collection willalso inform the work of the Strengthening DPULOs Programme andothers on how best to support DPULOs in their work and relationshipswith commissioners.