Effective collaboration between organisations can mean that, within a system, resources are used more efficiently and effectively.
Collaborative working between London Funders, the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, and NHS commissioners, led to the better organisation of funding for women’s services in London. Several independent funders were investing in services for women who had experienced domestic violence or sex crimes, but their combined resources (c £10m) were marginal next to statutory funding, which combined the cost of investigation of crimes, legal action and support for victims (c. £400m) across the criminal justice system, London boroughs and clinical commissioning groups.
Michael Bell is director of MBARC, a consultancy commissioned by MOPAC and the NHS to produce a needs assessment for the field of sexual violence against women. “Our needs assessment focused on statutory funding but through our links with London Funders we saw an opportunity to share it more widely with independent funders,” he said. “It is important that independent funders understand where funding is going already, and why, so that they can ensure their spending adds value. With better mapping of sector support they can be certain their funding is additional to what the state is putting in, rather than duplicating. Independent funders can support innovation when there are gaps in services, and operate outside the scope of the statutory sector, working with the most vulnerable and hard to reach groups, for example.”
The sharing of needs information across a range of funders provides quality assurance for the services that independent funders are paying for. Sharing information across the sector is also a much more economical approach to due diligence, saving time and resource across the sector which can be invested in services instead.
The 2016 report ‘The Way Ahead’ provides a blueprint for a completely revised system of support for civil society infrastructure support within London, built from the ground up by focusing on communities’ needs and building services around them. The resulting system design and implementation plan represents a wholly new approach to using resources, avoiding duplication and ensuring that support goes to where it is most needed.