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Theme 6: Enhancing the social sector as part of the solution for public services

The Recommendations

Recommendation 12:
Recognising and demonstrating the role of the social sector in delivering efficiencies: much of the work of the social sector is difficult to define and comes together through informal means. This needs to be accounted for but where impacts can be measured, then this will go some way to developing a narrative as to how the sector contributes to efficiencies through quality delivery. There is a role for Macc to work with the sector to build capacity and capability for evaluative activity that shows/models good practice and impacts. This capacity could be developed with the assistance of public sector partners and organisations such as New Economy, where knowledge and expertise can be transferred to the sector.

Recommendation 13:
Articulating social value and preparing the social sector for future opportunities within the PSR agenda: Social value is an important opportunity to embed social considerations across public sector decision making processes, and can play an important role in reducing demand on public services. The social sector can be an effective driver of the social value agenda, working with partners to understand and develop a proper concept of social value, and to develop an approach to contributing to social value across all areas of work. This would involve Macc working with the social sector to strengthen its knowledge and understanding of the agenda, and how they can best measure impact, articulating their social value. This is essential to positioning the sector for the opening up of public services and specifically to enable more opportunities to co-design local provision.

Recommendation 14:
Develop a programme for co-design of services: there is an opportunity within this agenda of utilising the social sector in co-design of local services. This could feed into service provision that maximises the impact of resource, together with reducing demand on services. This could take place through a series of co-design pilots across different thematic service areas.

Recommendation 15:
Developing a growth plan for the social sector: This would be important for developing and promoting a Civil Economy. It would be led by Macc with input from the council into how to best support the sector to grow in future, within a changing policy and funding landscape. This needs to be focused around how the sector can be grown from within and would encompass a range of the issues and recommendations highlighted in this paper.

What’s currently happening

  • Macc has been working with Manchester City Council to develop their strategy for working with the social sector. This is the subject of two special Voluntary Sector Assembly events in April and June 2015. Details here
  • Macc has submitted proposals to Council colleagues about a Social Value approach. We have asked the Council to clarify their policy on implementing the Social Value Act and are awaiting their response.
  • Macc has contributed to discussions at a Greater Manchester level about a GM-wide social value model.