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Office of the Third Sector (Northamptonshire). Northamptonshire Third Sector Partnership Agreement The Compact and Sector Developments. Murphy Brown Third Sector Business Development Director. Version 2. Background.

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northamptonshire third sector partnership agreement the compact and sector developments

Office of the Third Sector (Northamptonshire)

Northamptonshire Third Sector Partnership AgreementThe Compact and Sector Developments

Murphy Brown

Third Sector Business Development Director

Version 2



In March 2006 the Infrastructure Consortium Steering Group for Northamptonshire begun working together to create a forward plan for the development of infrastructure agencies and their services offered to front line Third Sector agencies within Northamptonshire. During this time the views of representatives of this group had been gathered to:- Understand what the perceived relative strengths and weaknesses of the Consortium have been to date, - Review and discuss the findings in an open and transparent fashion,- Consider emerging influences on the development of the sector , e.g. Local Area Agreements (LAA) and other national developments. - Debate the needs and priorities of the Consortium going forward, - Take the associated findings forward to inform the development of a new partnership agreement for the Steering Group- Create a Partnership Agreement and terms of reference (Steering Group) for onward sharing across the third sector in Northamptonshire.- Develop processes for electing/selecting sector representatives (e.g. CFAP)


Following Launch of the Partnership Agreement…

12 month monitoring & development period post the launch.

Raise awareness of the Agreement Countywide

Alignment of the Agreement to the Compact

Highlight Benefits:- - Co-operative working - Openness and Transparency - Collaborative & Partnership Working - Process for electing sector representatives


1. Direction of Travel

Focused work around embedding the Compact and raising its importance to key partners and stakeholders.

Development of the draft Partnership Agreement & ongoing consultation.

Alignment to the Compact

Final draft agreement by June 2007 (Achieved)

12 month monitoring & development period post the launch.

Development of the Third Sector Strategy to include, Statement of Priorities.




2. The Relationship

(of the Compact, Northamptonshire Partnership Agreement

and the Third Sector Vision)





“To be a strong, sustainable

and innovative

Third Sector in



3. The Compact

What is the Compact?

The Compact is the agreement between Northamptonshire public bodies and the

voluntary and community sector to improve their relationship to benefit each other.

The Compact sets out:

  • a shared vision and principles;
  • promises from both sides;
  • a public sector commitment to respect the independence of the voluntary
  • and
  • community sector; and systems to help make sure that the agreement works.

The Compact has been supported by six Codes of Good Practice, covering:

  • Funding;
  • Consultation and policy appraisal;
  • Volunteering;
  • Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) voluntary and community organisations;
  • Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual People
  • Community Groups

4. Collaborative Working (within the Compact)

A number of converging factors are creating a momentum within the VCS that are driving organisations to:

  • Work collaboratively.
  • Maximise existing resources and income streams.
  • Develop new revenue streams.
  • Become more streamlined whilst still achieving their mission and stated aims.
  • Merge services or resources, where possible.

5. Collaborative Working

Some of these factors include:

  • Government initiatives to develop and strengthen the VCS, including:

a. Several high profile reviews that consider how the sector can

increase capacity and generate sustainable revenue, such as

ChangeUp - the Infrastructure Review, the Cross Cutting Review

and Building Civil Renewal Community Capacity Building Review.

b. Public funding and private investment in VCS sustainability,

infrastructure and public confidence measures.

c. Increasing opportunities for the VCS to deliver some central and

local government services via outsourcing and contracts as

opposed to grants.

d. A push towards full cost recovery in VCS charges for public service

delivery, reinforcing and recognising the sector’s initiatives in this

area. Funders fund once


6. Collaborative Working

Other factors include:

  • Growing competition for resources: a huge proliferation of small voluntary and community organisations with low, often shrinking, incomes and a small core of large organisations receiving the majority of available income.
  • Resource sharing may help to create a competitive edge for the partners involved and, for small to medium sized VCS organisations, may result in a more equal access to resources, allowing resources to be more evenly spread throughout the sector.

Voluntary &



7. What is the “Third Sector”










The following is a series of questions

that have been raised at local forums

around the County about the

Partnership Agreement Document.

We have tried to answer them as best

as we can.


8. Q: What is exactly meant by “rationalising” the current range

of services (page 3)? Does this mean some services should

be discontinued?

A: No, it actually means the following…

  • Improving reach of services for the sector
  • Quality of services for the Third Sector
  • Focus on the 6 development areas as defined by Capacity Builders
  • Service mergers
  • Organisational mergers
  • Partnership and Collaborative working

(The word Rationalising has now been removed and will be replaced by a form of words agreed at the mid term consultation event)


IIP Stands for.... “Infrastructure Investment Plan”

9. Q: Is the Third Sector IIP Business Plan concerned with the

development of the activities of the 3 Groups or is it to be a

template for every forum member to implement or aspire to?   

A: The IIP Business Plan will take into account individual

organisational development as well as Forum, Consortium

and Partnership development.

Work Force Development



Performance Development

Finance Development

Governance Development


LIO=Local Infrastructure Organisation.

CIO= Countywide Infrastructure Organisation

10. Q: Aren\'t the LIOs responsible already for gathering and

Sharing "activity data“ (page 4)?

A: The LIOs and CIOs will lead on gathering and disseminating

Data to the sector. However, a lot of valuable data is already

captured by front line organisations, we need to find simple ways

of gathering the data for use.

Some of this data will take for the form of:-

  • Funding Information and support
  • Training and Development
  • Policy updates/changes
  • Volunteering information
  • County, Regional and National Information
  • Levels of satisfaction with services

11. Q: As regards the role of Third Sector Infrastructure Group

(Steering Group).

How will the group “be project managed" and does

this mean they will compete with sector members for funding

and the delivery of services?

A: We will need to discuss things like:-

  • Terms of reference
  • Remit and processes
  • Key subject profiles
  • Partnership/Collaborative and Consortium approaches
  • Ensure good levels of transparency and clarity

CFAP = Community Finance Advisory Panel

12. Q: Does "working with CFAP" mean influencing the

Destination of funding streams or levels? 


attempting to increase the amount of funding into the sector

as a whole?

A: CFAP gives opportunities for the VCS to:-

  • Engage
  • Be part of the decision making machinery
  • Advise on areas of needs and gaps in the county
  • How public funds should be best spent etc…

13. Q: Who will organise and pay for the "Third Sector


A: The Third Sector Office is sited in NCompass

  • Capacity Builders will make a contribution to this office

However, support for this office should also come from

  • The Local Area Agreement Office (LAA)
  • Borough Councils
  • Learning and Skills Council (LSC)
  • Development Corporations

1. Other questions that have been raised are…

Clarity around the legality of Partnership, who has responsibility in terms of liability?

Why does the sector need to work in collaboration and partnerships?

How will Infrastructure providers improve the quality of their delivery to help front line organisations?

How will Capacity Builders funding help front line organisations?

Does local Borough and District Councils support the development of the third sector and what is the evidence?

What does the future hold for the third sector?



Communication LIO/CIO’s

Creating a common platform for communications and programmes.

Communicating what we do and how we do it; building trust and transparency in the sector and support for development. Collaboration and Partnerships.





Campaign and leadership to accelerate action on key sector issues – local, county, regional and national levels.

Integrating communications and assessing political and development risks for more effective strategy and design leading to better outcomes.

Development Communication

14. Communication, a Key Element to making it all work!

Scaling up Communications for Improved Results



Monitoring is the regular observation & recording of on going activities in a project or a programme.Monitoring is an integral part of every project/programme, from start to finish.Monitoring will become a key part of this work, to ensure that we are progressing and achieving objectives.


16. Evaluate

Evaluation is a process of judging value on what a project or programme has achieved particularly in relation to activities planned & overall objectives/outputs and then translate/present the outcomes in an accessible format.Again, we will ensure that a robust way of evaluating what we do is designed, using existing methods to avoid duplication and additional work.


17. The structures as defined in the Agreement


“Standing” Conference/ Quarterly Events to include other partners e.g. Local Area Agreement/ LSPs/CDRP’s





Members drawn preferably from frontline groups.

LAA Implementation Task Group

7 local THIRD SECTOR Forums & BME SRP