The Way Ahead

London Funders, working with London Voluntary Service Council (LVSC) and Greater London Volunteering (GLV) and others has commissioned research to look into the future of civil society infrastructure in London.

Background to the Way Ahead

The report, 'The Way Ahead - Civil Society at the Heart of London', funded by City Bridge Trust and produced in partnership with ourselves and Greater London Volunteering, is the first to look at civil society support - or infrastructure - since the heady days of ChangeUp and the London Infrastructure Development Plan. It contains a number of key recommendations.

At the heart of the report is the idea of pragmatic co-production - putting London's communities and their needs at the heart of all services provided by the voluntary and community sector, with all partners - be they from the public, private or VCSE sectors, and beyond - working together to develop the support the providers of these services need, from an older people's organisation providing befriending volunteers to an organisation campaigning and lobbying on the rights of newly arrived refugees.  This support can be delivered at a hyper-local, borough, sub-regional or regional level, dependant on what makes the best fit.

Key proposals include a 'triage and connect' function to diagnose the issues faced by frontline volunteers groups and organisations to match them with the most appropriate support; the sharing of data across sectors to co-produce a shared understanding of need and information on policy developments and best practice;  support for campaigning; and a call to regional and local public sector bodies and independent funders to ensure the sector is built into strategic planning and decision making, and that commissioning and funding of support is consistent.  It is also recommended that a London Hub be established to work with specialist support to drive up quality across the sector and produce standard resources, which can be customized for local delivery.

The full report, executive summary, literature review and briefing on pragmatic co-production can be found on The London Funders website.