Dharmendra Kanani is England director for the Big Lottery Fund, a position he moved into in 2010 after a spell as the Fund’s director for Scotland.
Before joining BIG Dharmendra was head of the Commission for Racial Equality Scotland and later the director of Countries, Regions and Communities GB-wide during which he restructured its regional matrix; introduced Country Committees; developed the Commission's approach and policy to faith; youth, gypsy traveller, asylum and immigration issues; concieved and delivered Getting Results - outcome funding for racial equality bodies and established the Safe Communnities initiative.
Until 1999 he was a director of racial equality bodies in Scotland and London.
He has chaired a number of voluntary community organisations in Scotland and London, and set up various community organisations dealing with employment training, youth mentoring, community advocacy and social housing.
Dharmendra has been an adviser to several statutory and voluntary organisations, the Scottish Executive and Whitehall ministerial groups. He is the chair of the Scotland Funders’ Forum, and a board member of several arts bodies in Scotland.
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A year-long study of the relationship between Whitehall policy-making and frontline public service delivery by charities has identified five “fundamental disconnects” between policy and practice.
Big Lottery Fund and NCVO have launched a programme to support infrastructure bodies which will encourage organisations to rate and review the support they receive, Tripadvisor-style.
The Cabinet Office and Big Lottery Fund have today announced a £65m transition fund for advice charities affected by cuts to legal aid and other advice service budgets.
Dharmendra Kanani says that non-joined up funding often confuses fundraisers and those accessing support services: I thought plurality and different expectations and approaches was something the voluntary sector regarded as a central tenet not an inconvenience.
Support and development organisations will be able to choose what assistance they get, and then rank the quality of that help, in a new capacity-building programme launched today by NCVO and the Big Lottery Fund.
The Big Lottery Fund will open £50m of investment to the voluntary and community sector in England this week to help organisations cope with funding cuts.