• Influencers of effective partnership working between voluntary community sector organisations in Liverpool

      Page, Steve; Wallace, Kathleen (University of ChesterLiverpool City Council, 2010-12)
      With the election of a Coalition Government in May 2010, the concept of “partnership” has never been so prominent in public policy. This builds on a foundation of partnership working playing an increasing role in the policy arena following on from ‘New Labour’s Modernisation Strategy’ and initiatives such as area regeneration partnerships. Partnership working has become the recognised solution to addressing entrenched complex social issues, such as poverty, based on the recognition that a single public agency cannot address the complexity of social problems alone. Furthermore, the Voluntary Community Sector (VCS) is becoming of greater concern to policy makers with the recognition that the sector plays a fundamental public service delivery role, especially to vulnerable and disadvantaged communities. This remit is likely to increase with the publication in October 2010, of the Coalition’s Government strategy for Voluntary Community Sector organisations, which places the sector as central to transforming public service delivery and building the Government’s civil society vision. However, it is well-established that the public sector as a whole is facing in mounting finanical pressure and all public agencies will be required to deliver both greater efficiencies and service improvements. Against a background of increasing partnerships, a more visible role for the VCS, and significantly reducing resources, VCS organisations will increasingly have to work together to achieve their aims and maintain service delivery to vulnerable people. Therefore, this research will seek to understand the drivers and factors influencing partnership working between VCS organisations, through undertaking a comprehensive literature review and primary research. An ‘interpretivist’ paradigm underpins a case study approach with five VCS organisations in Liverpool. Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with key managers from the Case Study organisations supported by a limited amount of documentary evidence. The primary research data will be analysed to identify key themes and the outcomes explored in the context of the literature. An analysis of specific factors influencing partnerships will be undertaken to improve our understanding of effective partnerships between VCS organisations.