NPC has been working closely with local community coordinators in Buckinghamshire, Coventry and Sutton to learn how ways of working and attitudes to collaboration have shifted during the coronavirus crisis. This report on local coordination sets out how levels of trust and collaboration increased between organisations and sectors in these three areas, but also how these positive developments may be under threat.
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift towards many of the ways of working and attitudes that place-based working had been aiming to address for many years: local action has been vital in the response to the pandemic, with people looking out for their neighbours and mutual aid groups springing up to support people in local communities. In the first phase of our research, we heard about positive changes to local coordination. These changes included:
- Faster collaboration between organisations and sectors
- A stronger sense of shared focus
- Greater pooling of data and resources, and less bureaucracy
- The lowering of organisational boundaries
Participants then shared what they felt most threatened the positive shifts outlined above. The four key threats that we uncovered were:
- A breakdown of trust between organisations and sectors
- A loss of momentum
- Skills and resource gaps
- Difficulties in keeping up with changes in need and provision
In this report, we identify opportunities for addressing these threats. To help maintain the progress that has been made on place-based coordination, there are three themes that have emerged as requiring particular attention:
Charities, funders, and government are now at a key turning point. We must decide how we keep up the momentum and maintain the trust that has developed between different organisations. Keep up the reduction in bureaucracy, while ensuring we take an orderly approach to decision-making, allowing proper consideration of longer-term aims and the meaningful co-design of solutions. We must also explore what additional support—structures, resources, tools—can help continued multi-agency working, and the role that funders and others can play in enabling this to take place.
We look forward to taking action, in line with the themes and implications explored in this research, through the Pledge on Place network. If you’d like to be involved in this, please get in touch. For more on this research, read this blog. For more on NPC’s work on place-based approaches click here.
In October, we released interim findings from our 'Coordination in place' project, which aims to investigate place-based local action during the Covid-19 pandemic. How can charities, funders and commissioners continue to improve local collaboration?
This is an interim report for our 'Coordination in place' project. We’re tracking three areas, to understand how these places are adapting to meet evolving needs in their communities.
We’re tracking three areas to understand how places are adapting to meet evolving needs in their communities. NPC has published an interim paper for this 'Coordination in place' project. This blog sets out some findings from our research so far.
The places where we live and work define who we are and what we do. We've developed this framework to share common characteristics we’ve identified from our consulting and think tank work, which we believe will prove invaluable for developing your own place-based projects.