WCVA Conference: It’s Tackling Poverty, Stupid
Jeff Cuthbert AM, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty, laid out a clear challenge to the Third Sector in his keynote address to the WCVA Conference in Llandudno today.
Explaining the context of severe financial pressures and an increasing demand for service, the Minister said that the challenges facing us are very real. This means that every pound spent on Third Sector organisations has to count. There is a clear need to demonstrate more clearly the impact of Third Sector spending, looking explicitly at outcomes in terms of policy, particularly tackling poverty.
The Minister also set out expectations about a regional dimension to Third Sector collaboration, encouraging work across local authority boundaries from next year. But this is not in itself going to produce the shift towards a results-based service delivery model for the sector. The issue here is governance. The challenge is how the boards and executives of Third Sector organisations can ensure their survival by demonstrating the value of their work in terms that the government will understand. Partly this is about describing what we do in new terms but part is also about fundamental change.
The Wales Co-operative Centre provides support to social businesses to help them survive, thrive and grow, benefiting the sector, the economy and the communities of Wales. A key part of this support is for governance, which is the glue that sets the social purpose of the organisations we work with. The need for this sort of support will increase as the impact of public sector austerity becomes more pronounced.