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NCVO have launched a call for evidence to better understand the relationship between large and small organisations bidding to deliver public services.

The call for evidence is part of a new project that aims to rebalance the relationship between large and small voluntary organisations in public services. It is a partnership between NCVO, ACEVO and Lloyds Bank Foundation for England and Wales, and will explore how voluntary organisations of different sizes can work better together in bidding for and delivering public services.

The move follows concern that smaller organisations are being squeezed out of public service delivery, in part by the practices of larger organisations as well as by commissioning and procurement processes.

There are also concerns that, as a result, smaller organisations are struggling to survive with many facing closure. The project will explore the extent to which this is the case and any drivers behind it by listening to large and small voluntary organisations.

The project, Rebalancing the Relationship, will look at current bidding and commissioning practices.

They want to hear from anyone with experience of competition or collaboration between voluntary organisations bidding to deliver public services.

You might:

• be a chief executive, trustee or project manager in a small organisation

• have a role in bid writing or business development in a larger organisation

• be a commissioner in a local authority or a clinical commissioning group working with the voluntary sector

• be a thought leader, researcher or policymaker

• have experience of using services, or representing services users at a local level.

The evidence, combined with further desk-based and qualitative research, will form the basis of a research report expected in the autumn.

The report will inform a series of engagement events with voluntary organisations to develop recommendations to improve current practices, which will be the subject of a consultation with the sector, ahead of a final report early next year.

While the project will consider the wider commissioning environment, the partners expect the focus of their recommendations to be on how organisations themselves can take action to improve how they work with others.

The work will be overseen by a small steering group made up of the project partners and individuals with expertise in leading both large and small voluntary organisations.

The call for evidence will run until midday 24 July 2019.

To take part and find out more information, click here.

To read more news from the Trust, click here.

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