Driving Forward Change For Voluntary And Community Organisations

Capacitybuilders’ Board has committed itself to a programme of change in the future delivery of national support services to the voluntary and community sector and social enterprises. The Board’s decision was in response to a package of proposals recommended by Simon Hebditch, Chief Executive, aimed at ensuring that Capacitybuilders is able to offer the sector a coherent and sensible approach to the future provision of national support services.

Hebditch’s recommendations draw on extensive research carried out by independent consultant Jo Durning.

Capacitybuilders will take a greater strategic leadership role in pursuing all elements of the ChangeUp programme and an increased role as a direct commissioner of national services. Hebditch commented : “We all recognise the central importance of providing national support services to the voluntary and community sector and the social enterprise movement around the country. The Board has rightly commended the national hub staff for their commitment and work up to date.

“Capacitybuilders will be directly commissioning organisations next Spring to take responsibility for delivering essential national services to the sector. We will be consulting the sector between January and March 2007 on the future priorities for national support and will be opening up a major commissioning exercise in May 2007 to ensure that these programmes are taken forward effectively over the years to come. But change starts now.

“Capacitybuilders will be introducing new ways of working from the next financial year – ensuring effective cross hub work and improved communications, the adoption of a common accounting framework, common evaluation systems and a renewed focus on investing in the infrastructure of the sector. Most importantly, we will be making sure that the plans and programmes of the ChangeUp consortia across England relates closely to the provision of national support services.”

Capacitybuilders will set a series of objectives and outcomes relating to the delivery of national services following consultation with the sector over January/March 2007. These objectives and outcomes will reflect the need to focus on supporting the infrastructure of the third sector for the benefit of front-line organisations and will be aligned with the overall objectives and activities set out in Capacitybuilders’ final strategic plan for the period 2006/14 – which is being launched for consultation with the sector on December 7th 2006.

Chris Pond, Capacitybuilders’ Chair added: “We have an exciting opportunity to re-shape the services provided by the ChangeUp programme as a whole which builds on the best that has been done to date whilst, at the same time, ensures that services offered at a national level really do meet the needs of organisations at a regional, sub-regional and local level”

New contracts and budget levels will be negotiated with the existing accountable bodies and hubs for the period from 1 June 2007 to end March 2008 and contracts will need to include mechanisms for more effective cross hub working and communications, the introduction of a common accounting framework, common evaluation systems and the facility to possibly make the transition to new main contractors that emerge from the commissioning exercise in May/July 2007.