The Way Ahead

In April 2016, The Review of the Future of Civil Society Support in London was published by London Funders, working closely with Greater London Volunteering and the London Voluntary Service Council. The Review’s emerging findings report The Change Ahead described the rapidly and dramatically changing world in which civil society operates. The Review Team believed that organisations and individuals that support civil society need to adapt, evolve and innovate at a systems-wide level to address these changes, so that the best outcomes can be achieved for Londoners.

The report made twelve recommendations for action, gathered under five key themes, each addressed by a Task and Finish group. In November, Lea began working with Kate White (of Superhighways), co-chairing the Task and Finish group for the “Data Sharing” theme.

The Way Ahead proposes a system that puts London’s communities at the heart of the way we all work. It begins with co-producing an understanding of need and how to tackle it with our communities, through to better sharing of intelligence and data across all sectors, and making sure that civil society’s voice is heard in decision-making at a strategic level.

The Way Ahead - Twelve Recommendations

The Data Sharing Theme

The GLA (Greater London Authority) currently plays an important role for other sectors in collating data, analysing it and making it accessible. Civil society is a large and important contributor to London, and as such the GLA should extend its data role to encompass civil society. As co-produced needs data is developed, it could be pulled together by the GLA. Over time, this data would provide a clearer and shared understanding of need as it evolves across London, which is accepted by funders, civil society and communities themselves, and could be incorporated into strategic planning at all levels. Data about the sector itself is also important for planning, for example on the size, location and nature of civil society in different areas of London as it correlates to communities needs; the nature of volunteers, including where they volunteer, and to what issues they contribute. - The Way Ahead - Thematic Groups

Since the Data Sharing Task and Finish group was set up, Lea and Kate have been meeting with funders, voluntary sector leaders, and charities in order to produce a report of recommendations to The Way Ahead’s steering group. The report has now been submitted, but the work doesn’t end here! To stay up to date with news, visit the newly launched website. We’ll also continue to post updates here on the blog about the intelligence gathered during our meetings throughout The Way Ahead’s Data Sharing research. Stay tuned!

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