Report: How to succeed at cross-sector partnerships

11 Oct 2017 News

Collaborative place-based funding is a powerful tool to improve lives, but requires skill and knowledge, according to a report published today.

The report, produced by the Institute for Voluntary Action Research and funded by six grant-givers, follows five place-based collaborations between sectors, and identifies eight key elements needed to make such collaborations a success.

  • Independent funding as a source of support for developing new ways of working
  • ‘Collaborative champions’ or key individuals that can drive the work
  • Developing appropriate processes through co-design
  • Clarity about roles and responsibilities
  • Listening and responding to service user voices
  • Investment of time and resources in building relationships and processes
  • Shared understanding about impact and reporting
  • Sustainability and exit built into the process

"In York, partners shared the same frustrations and core vision that nobody should be in a position on the front-line of having to pass an individual from one person to another," the report said. "The local police, NHS and council worked with independent funder Lankelly Chase to set up York Pathways, a service that helps individuals experiencing mental health issues such as anxiety or schizophrenia to get the help they need, and seeks long-term solutions to any gaps in the system that they identify.

"In Dundee, the ambition was to develop a long-term national model that significantly reduces school exclusion. The most important learning point was that it is not possible to drop a model from one area into another: to be successful it needs to reflect the local need and context."

The study, entitled Working in Place: Collaborative funding in practice was funded by IVAR, London Funders, Lankelly Chase, John Lyon’s Charity, Big Lottery Fund, Power to Change and The Robertson Trust.

The research has been driven by growing recognition amongst funders that the issues they wish to address – particularly in the most disadvantaged localities – are multi-faceted and that place-based funding might be one way of delivering a more holistic approach,” the report said.

“Our case studies were selected to provide a range in terms of location; style of approach; initiating body; and stage of development. They are all examples of independent funders working with local authorities or central government, albeit from different perspectives.”

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