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Third sector gears up to meet
Date:4/1/2009

r hand, third sector agencies identify opportunities from the expansion of personal budgets to gain greater independence from local authorities, take on new roles, expand the types of services offered and enjoy increased demand. Professor Challis points out: "Research suggests that substantial potential exists for provider organisations to take on new roles and responsibilities in terms of case management and support planning, as well as in terms of becoming more adaptable and flexible in the services they offer. For example, providers could help service users by taking the role of human resource managers for the personal assistants the users appoint."

Says ESRC Chief Executive, Professor Ian Diamond: To date, by providing access to leading experts and the latest research evidence, our ESRC Public Policy Seminars have offered valuable insight into the potential impact of new government policy and the possible responses. In this, our first joint seminar and subsequent publication with ACEVO, we have enjoyed a really exciting opportunity to bring academic researchers and third sector professionals together to discuss issues of key practical relevance to the third sector."

ACEVO Chief Executive, Stephen Bubb concludes: "For years the basic complaint of third sector organisations providing public services has been that we are good at engaging with service users, but bad at engaging with public sector commissioners .... Where we get the chance, we can deliver high-quality services that service users want.

But more often than not commissioners design contracts that practically exclude the third sector, or tie third sector organisations down in a straightjacket of required outputs and processes, backed up with excessive, bureaucratic monitoring.... Individual budgets could break that mould.

"ACEVO's job is now to support third sector leaders to adapt to individual budgets, to rise to the challenges and to grasp the opportunities," he contin
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Contact: Alexandra Saxon
Alexandra.saxon@esrc.ac.uk
01-793-413-032
Economic & Social Research Council
Source:Eurekalert

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