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Building on their previous report, A Whole New World: Funding and Commissioning in Complexity, this new work responds to significant interest in learning from practical examples of how organisations, funders and commissioners are fundamentally rethinking their design and delivery of support. It sets out a 'new world' of approaches to social change that genuinely put people in the lead, providing practical examples and insights for others eager to develop new ways of working.Informed by a year of action research and events, the report seeks to:SHARE emerging new practice, including through in-depth case studiesINSPIRE and enable people interested in working in this way to develop new approachesBUILD a movement for change
This report, undertaken by Newcastle University Business School in partnership with Collaborate, delves into the ways in which funders are beginning to realise the importance of recognising complexity. Rather than working to fictional 'transformations' which start with a problem, deliver a service and expect a result, they are becoming more flexible when addressing problems; working in a way which is at once more human and more systemic.Outcomes are created by people's interaction with whole systems, not by particular interventions or organisations. Funders and commissioners working in this way take some responsibility for the health of a system as a whole, because healthy systems produce better outcomes. They take a system coordination role. They invest in network infrastructure which enables actors in the system to communicate effectively; they invest in building positive, trusting relationships and developing the skills of the people who work in the system.The report identifies an opportunity to evolve beyond the New Public Management paradigm (NPM). NPM assumes that workers must be incentivized through performance targets to perform well, and therefore requires that metrics be used to measure the performance of people and organisations, as mechanisms to hold them accountable for producing desired outcomes. This approach leads to gaming (people doing activity which makes the data look better, rather than activity which genuinely helps people), and to fragmented services.This report offers a glimpse of an emerging new approach – funders and commissioners who are beginning to work differently. This is the start of an exploring how it can be funded and commissioned in a way which meets the needs and strengths of real people.
This work is the result of partnership between Collaborate, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (UK Branch) and the Big Lottery Fund. It is based on UK-wide research with 40 structured interviews, a number of group sessions and informal conversations with a wide range of leaders within the independent funding sector (including a workshop held at the Association of Charitable Funders annual conference). It draws on Collaborate's wider work across public services, and reflects expertise and analysis from a number of organisations and commentators looking at the sector from the outside in. The purpose was to substantiate the initial thinking developed in a first paper, work with a wider range of funders, and develop lines of inquiry and practical solutions using the framework which had been set about the funding ecology.
This report, produced by the community interest company Collaborate and commissioned by the Big Lottery Fund and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, argues that strong ideas and bottom-up social change initiatives are undermined by a lack of strategic collaboration between the individuals and institutions that fund them.Based on interviews and focus groups with leading independent funders, the report says that in order to change systems and help projects to become more effective, funders should see their role less as "guardians of self-identified change" and more as partners in an ecosystem of support for others.
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