Posts tagged ‘Commissioning’

November 17, 2012

Measurement – what, why and for whom?

The latest NPC newsletter highlighted comments from Francis Maude about the importance of impact measurement (you can read the original here: Minister urges embedding of impact at NPC conference http://bit.ly/QOphf7 ) by charities hoping to compete for local authority contracts.  The article goes on to point out that about half of charities have increased their measurement in order to meet the needs of their funders, and only 5% with the aim of improving their services – although 25% said it did improve their services.

At CAADA we care a lot about information, evidence and measurement – indeed our Insights service works with about 100 practitioners across 20 service providers to collect information directly from service users.  Of course we see a value in ‘meeting the needs of funders’ but we see a MUCH bigger value in understanding how the profile of different service users differs, what interventions are effective, how this learning can be shared across multiple small service providers, and how it can be used to shape commissioning and policy.  It is in the ALIGNMENT of all these actors that we achieve real change for beneficiaries – ensuring that all use exactly the same data to inform their decisions and ensuring that the service user’s experience drives the whole process and encourages the improvements in practice and innovation that we all wish to see.  For more about Insights, see the Commissioners page on our website. (CAADA: domestic abuse service commissioners – domestic violence service commissioning – outcomes measurement http://bit.ly/XkJXy6 )

So the WHAT we measure, is information that is useful to practitioners or it won’t be collected consistently.  The WHY we measure is to help us understand better what works, how to shape our response and what good commissioning looks like.  The FOR WHOM we measure is for beneficiaries – to be sure that we spend our resources in the way that achieves the best outcomes for them.  And if we do all these things we will have aligned the interests of practitioners, service managers, funders, commissioners and policy makers to focus on what is good for the beneficiary.  End of lecture.

September 13, 2012

Social Entrepreneurship – news from Big Society Capital

I have just returned from a reception hosted by Big Society Capital and the City of London Corporation which was aimed at those banks and financial institutions who will be important if the social investment approach is to grow and be successful. The event was absolutely packed and there is clearly a lot of interest in the area. Some new things came out.

Firstly, the size of the ‘market’ so far. About £165m of investment was made in social enterprises last year and this figure is forecast to rise to £ 300m this year. The longer term forecast is that it will increase further to £1billion by 2016 – so a material shift in resources and a change in the environment that will focus ever more on outcomes.

Secondly, there was a brief discussion on the motivation for commissioners to engage. Of interest here was the mention of an ‘Academy for Commissioners’ which will be established by the Government. It was the first I have heard of this but seems a welcome recognition of the expertise that is needed in complex commissioning – particularly if contracts are to be well structured and outcomes properly measured. Given the pace of change in our sector at the moment, this injection of expertise cannot come a moment too soon.

Finally, mention was also made of setting up a central government ‘outcomes fund’ that would be used to contribute to funding Payment by Results models where part of the financial gain accrues to central rather than local government. Again, this is surely helpful in the area where we all work.

June 10, 2012

Themis – Locating IDVAs in hospitals

We had our first meeting on Friday with the six organisations who are going to be the research sites for our hospital based IDVA evaluation.  They are the IDVA team in Addenbrookes (Cambridge), Advance, the IDVA team in Bristol Royal Infirmary (who sadly couldn’t attend), North Devon WA, Victim Support in Newcastle and Worth Services.  As is always the case with these meetings, it is just so refreshing to hear from the different IDVAs, their managers and clinical champions about their work.  And, as is always the case, I learnt a lot.

The things that struck me most were:

1. The incredible determination and commitment of those involved.  It is only a slight exaggeration to say that some IDVAs are close to camping on a chair in the corridor of A&E, waiting for their opportunity to integrate with the process.

2. What a difference it makes to have a clinical champion and someone to advocate for the approach with the management of the hospital so that it is quickly embedded and integrated.

3. How much training is needed for clinical staff – it sounded endless in order to cope with high levels of staff turnover and low levels of DV awareness. Also the inconsistencies between one trust where DV training is mandatory and its neighbour in the room where it is not.

4. How in every single case, just the presence of the IDVAs in the hospital makes such a difference in terms of numbers of disclosures, and how many of these victims are unknown to any other agency.  I haven’t doubted that this is a wise approach – but it is really reassuring to hear again how true it is and how complementary to existing services.

5. Finally, the need to make the case for this work to public health commissioners in particular is acute.  More work to do…..

November 30, 2011

How to scale up social enterprise – A Synergistic Model of Scale — Social Edge

I thought that the article below from Social Edge, was really interesting and worth thinking about for all of us involved in delivering solutions to social problems.  We can see around us examples of quick, government funded responses and also many small social entreprises which struggle to scale up.  In our world, how do we help grow the best of the local work from domestic abuse services?  How do we build the best feedback loop into our MARAC work?  I will try and answer some of these questions but would love your thoughts!

A Synergistic Model of Scale

Hosted by Eric Glustrom (November 2011)

incorporating solutions

As the social change agents of our time, we keep our eyes peeled for any opportunity to grasp that idolized holy grail of social entrepreneurship: a sustainable, market-based approach to scale. However, especially for many Social Edge readers, it’s easy to let advocacy – the process of scaling a solution through policy change or partnership with larger institutions – slip into the distance.

Consider the following diagram:
Synergy
The social enterprise is the wedge, driving forward its solution. It has a few paths to scale:

read more »

November 23, 2011

More Congratulations to New Leading Lights Domestic Abuse Services!

It is great to announce another seven IDVA services have achieved their Leading Lights accreditation bringing the total nationally to 19 accredited services!  They deserve many congratulations.  The seven are: West Cheshire DAFSU, East Cheshire DAFSU, My Sister’s Place, West Mercia WA, The Pontypridd Safety Unit, The Sunflower Centre Northampton, and the Wirral Family Safety Unit.  I hope to be writing a bit about each one to give a sense of the quality and creativity of their work.  So more to follow…

May 30, 2011

Welcome to the new Leading Lights Services – Sheffield, Kent, Cardiff, Leicestershire and Southampton

We are really delighted that a further 5 specialist domestic abuse services have signed up for our coaching and accreditation programme – Leading Lights.  They are:

  • Vida in Sheffield
  • Cardiff Women’s Aid
  • Oasis Domestic Abuse Services in Kent
  • Women’s Aid Leicestershire
  • Southampton IDVA Service

They join 9 fully accredited services and about 30 others who are currently going through the programme. The CAADA Leading Lights programme recognises safe and consistent practice among IDVA services. The accreditation programme, which is based upon practical and effective policies and processes, offers a clear path towards consistent standards of care across the IDVA sector and has now been adopted by several commissioners around the country.  We are delighted about this as we believe that the Leading Lights framework represents a sound and high quality basis for commissioning.

 

May 3, 2011

Some pointers for commissioners? Or the Big Society?

I am a great admirer of the work done by Bridgespan (www.bridgespan.org) who write and debate about some thought provoking issues for the not for profit sector.  This recent piece looks at the new legislation passed in Connecticut addressing how the state contracts with charities – something that we are really interested in – especially how one can link the commissioning process with good outcomes for beneficiaries.  According to Bridgespan, Connecticut doesn’t have all the answers, but there are some useful pointers, and any readers who are responsible for commissioning might take note of the recommendations too…see link below for the detail.

The Guiding Principles are set out here, with some UK/CAADA interpretation added in brackets!

  • That the work of the Commission strengthen the public/private partnerships in the delivery of health and human services; (for us that would be about strengthening MARACs)
  • That quality and effectiveness of services are predicated upon a viable and sustainable nonprofit sector; (makes sense to us…)
  • That program and/or funding changes result in maintained or overall improved client outcomes;(yes)
  • That the pursuit of efficiency and streamlining processes is a mutual goal of both purchasers and service providers; (fair enough- but might need capital to invest in order to get efficiency gains)
  • That commission recommendations and future program design be supported by reliable data and analysis; (Yes, our Insights service perhaps?) and
  • That services need to be client and community focused, and based on current best practice models.” (See Leading Lights for an example of this)

Conversation Starter – Connecticut Maps Path to Nonprofit Sustainability – With a Few, Deep Potholes – Government Funding.