Collaborate update, February 2014 
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Beyond Big Contracts - Can Commissioning cut it?

Welcome to our February newsletter.

This year promises to be an exciting one for Collaborate, and we were delighted to kick off 2014 by launching a major new report in partnership with the Institute for Government and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.  'Beyond Big Contracts' explores the readiness of public service commissioners and providers to meet citizen needs within an increasingly complex landscape.  The report suggests that, in a number of key areas, current practice comes up short.
You can find the report, plus quotes and articles on our website HERE.  You can watch a video of the launch presentation and panel discussion - including Lord Victor Adebowale (Turning Point & Collaborate, Helen Stephenson (Cabinet Office), and Michael Coughlin (Local Government Association) - HERE.

We will be developing our programmes on collaborative commissioning and collaborative localism through 2014, working with a range of local partners.  If you would like to discuss this work, and join us to develop it, please get in touch.


Risk, Innovation & Reward - a new approach

One key finding from our work was the need for a more balanced relationship between risk, innovation and reward in public service partnerships, and we pick up this theme in a new programme of action research this spring.  We are developing a collaborative risk framework that will help practitioners understand, share and manage risk - ensuring that the changing social and economic risks faced by communities are at the forefront of the model.

Collaborate is hosting a breakfast roundtable on 28th February (see our events page for details) to debate the key elements of this framework. We will be joined by a range of expert contributors including Barry Quirk CBE (Lewisham Council) and Rosie Ferguson (London Youth).  If you would like to join us, please get in touch with Adelaide at .  

 Being Better Partners from Homelessness to Housing

We are thrilled to be co-hosting a 'good partners charter' designed by Collaborate associate and Clore Social Fellow La Toyah McAllister-Jones.  You can find the charter online, plus an interactive presentation and video telling the story of its development.  La Toyah asks what it would take for organisations in the homelessness and housing sector to work better together -  to better support citizens needs, and to survive in a tough new social, economic and policy environment. 

La Toyah said: "The central aim of this project was to develop a practical tool for building partnerships; a Good Partners Charter.  A set of guiding principles for developing practice amongst key stakeholders.  At the very least it should provoke a debate about how we challenge the behaviours and attitudes that inhibit partnership working."  Join La Toyah's Thunderclap campaign here to support the findings from this research - there are only 7 days to go!

You can keep in touch with our work and our emerging programme of events via  We are collaborative by name and collaborative by nature, so please get in touch, let us know about your work, and help us to support future services to the public that break the mould and transform lives for the better.  


Dr Henry Kippin, Director.

Managing Demand for Public Services through Collaboration


Collaborate is part of a consortium of organisations - including the Local Government Association, the RSA and the Economic and Social Research Council - seeking to understand how different relationships between citizens and public services could help manage rising demand for public services.  Stronger cross-sector and cross-service relationships and a more co-productive approach to service design are vital.  The report shows how this can work in practice, tracing the narrative from emerging science to transformative practice.  For more information, contact Henry at

A new team member at Collaborate

Adelaide Adade has joined us as our new project & office manager.  You will no doubt hear more from her in the coming months!  On joining the team, Adelaide said:

"I believe that there is probably a degree of dysfunction in every sector, however there are many positive and invaluable lessons to be learnt from each other in an increasingly complex environment.  For me, Collaborate offers a deeper analysis of why collaboration can improve social outcomes, and goes further to help develop models of 'best fit' that support this argument. 

Save the Date!

Thunderclap campaign! #goodpartners launches - add your name to the campaign now!

Project Oracle Action Day (partner event)

Cross-Sector Symposium
2:30pm-6pm, Greater London Authority

Beyond Nudge: Demand Management (event full)

Research launch in partnership with the Local Government Association, iMPOWER, Economic and Social Research Council and Collaborate.
8:30am-11am, RSA

Shared Risk, Shared Reward? Toward a Collaborative Risk Framework for Public Services

Risk Round-table event (invite only)
8:30am-10am, Collaborate

Past Events 

Readiness for a complex commissioning environment

A Collaborate & Institute for Government launch
6pm-7:30pm, Institute for Government

Leading across the sectors: new career pathways for social change

A Collaborate Launch Event with Chi Onwurah MP, Lord Victor Adebowale & David Archer 

Paying for public services: what are the big choices ahead?

A Collaborate, ESRC & RSA seminar with Lord Filkin CBE, Prof Christopher Hood & Paul Johnson
breakfast roundtable, RSA 


Commissioning 2.0
Article by Dan Crowe
Posted on Public Finance website

Payment-by-results contracts stifling innovation
Collaborate feature in Third Sector article

Payment-by-results puts 'charities at financial risk'
Collaborate feature in Public Finance article
Published in Public Finance

Social value that can transform places
Article by Henry Kippin
Published in NewStart Magazine

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