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We know what we are, and what we may be

This month's newsletter is edited by David van Eeghen, Collaborate's Impact Lead.
August 2015     

Collaborative Tackling of Place-based Health Challenges

NLGN and Collaborate continue with their major Commission on reimagining the future of place-based health. 

Chaired by Lord Victor Adebowale, the Commission is tackling the most challenging questions facing both the NHS and local councils today as they struggle with rising demand, reducing budgets and the changing demographics of their service users.

Collaborate's Managing Director, Sarah Billiald believes that, "all too often terms such as ‘collaboration’ or ‘system integration’ are bandied about with little understanding of what this means in practice. By focusing on four localities across England, this Commission will get under the bonnet of these terms and help broker future approaches to place-based health that are in the best interests of citizens not institutions." 

The call for evidence has now closed, with the commissioners scheduled to meet in September.

How to manage rising demand for local public services

Over a year ago, Henry Kippin and Lambeth Council's Anna Randle co-wrote a major piece of research on what they called the ‘emerging science’ of demand management. The term was, and remains, controversial. Their aim was to articulate a shift in the starting point for addressing local public service reform: from supply-side (service-led) improvement, to demand-side (citizen driven) change. The thesis was simple: flipping the starting point opens up a whole range of possibilities for transformation, led by a more consistent focus on understanding the real needs, assets and aspirations of citizens.

Recently, Henry wrote an article for Public Finance, arguing the need for shifting from a focus on supply-side improvement to one on demand-side change. He offered five ground rules for a more collaborative approach to public services. If you want learn more about Collaborate's demand management work, please contact Henry.

The Broccoli of Impact

As we enter the summer, healthy habits have been a theme in both my professional and personal life.

I have been spending a bit of time with my friends and their children recently and they are at that age where they know how to express a preference for ice cream over broccoli in non-negotiable terms (the children, not my friends).

The only tactic that gets any positive response from the little darlings is for their favourite adult to eat said broccoli and express how delicious it is. Quite a sensible attitude to new foods if you ask me, but then you probably didn’t.

Reflective practice and program evaluation can be a bit like broccoli. We know we need it, but are still pushing it around our plate.

We at Collaborate are committed to walking our own talk in our quest to learn from doing. We have embarked on a pilot impact evaluation of our programs to identify what we are doing well and where we have opportunities to do better.

The learning from this program has already exposed some of the qualitative lessons on what is required of an organisation to undertake an internal impact audit.

We have had to pin down exactly what we are aiming to achieve and how it can best happen. We have defined the best and worst scenarios, been brutal in our reflection and embrace humility to prepare for critical feedback.

But is it worth the struggle? So far, yes.

Already this process is bearing fruit, Collaborate is better able to articulate its services and how they relate to one another, what influences the services are affected by, understand for whom the services are useful and identify unexpected results ripe for further investigation.

Collaborate will be reaching out to a random selection of our historic and current clients for external feedback and we hope that you’ll be our critical friend so that we offer an even better quality of service, richer experience and the best results possible.
A New Funding Ecology - Your View
Research following the spring launch of Supporting Social Change: A New Funding Ecology is well underway. Interviews with funders and grant makers are continuing throughout the summer in preparation for the final report publication. If you would like to learn more about this research, please contact Executive Director Henry Kippin.

Unusual Suspects Festival 2016

After the success of the Unusual Suspects festival in 2014, we’re now hard at work planning the 2016 festival. As part of that planning, we want to find out who the unusual suspects are and further explore the process of collaboration. Click here to learn more about the Unusual Suspects festival or tell us about a new or unusual collaboration you’re involved so we can highlight your work!
Latest thought leadership

'Collaborative Capacity in Public Service Delivery'
Collaborate supported by UNDP

'Supporting Social Change: A New Funding Ecology'
Collaborate, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Big Lottery Fund

Building a Coalition of Collaborators in 2015'
Collaborate, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Social Innovation Exchange
Latest blog posts

Building a vision beyond five years
Sarah Billiald and Sarah Stopforth
Published in: The MJ

Taking collaboration from ambition to delivery
Henry Kippin
Published in: The MJ

A new funding ecology needs team players, not managers
Dawn Austwick
Published in: Third Sector

Two Futures for Independent Funders
Henry Kippin
Published in: New Start
Latest articles

How to manage rising demand for local public services
Henry Kippin
Published in: Public Finance

New commission launched on future of health
Jamie Hailstone
Published in: The MJ

Trusts and foundations: Jake Hayman is among the voices questioning what they do
Susannah Birkwood
Published in: Third Sector 
Upcoming events

Autumn 2015 - Spring 2016
Roundtable Series: The Future of Collaboration in Services to the Public
Invitation Only
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