The point was raised in a joint response to Policy & Resources’ Revive and Thrive strategy produced by the Guernsey Community Foundation and Lloyds Bank Foundation Channel Islands.
The two bodies argue that if government and the third sector are to fully benefit from working together, a straightforward commissioning process is essential.
‘There are services provided by the States that can be delivered more effectively, and potentially more cheaply, by the sector, but there are no mechanisms in place whereby charities can pitch to deliver those services, and States-led efforts to outsource are infrequent, inconsistent and opaque,’ they said in a letter to P&R.
‘The benefits of a co-designed system apply here. In discussing ways to “build back stronger”, the States and the third sector should explore different funding arrangements for charities. Social Bridging Finance, for example, would involve the Foundation or Lloyds funding a pilot project and the States agreeing to meet ongoing costs if the pilot delivers on agreed outcomes.’
Previous attempts at the States and third sector working together have had mixed results, they say.
‘This time round, for the benefit of the island, and in particular those people who are most at risk from a slow period of recovery, it is essential that co-working gives rise to demonstrably positive outcomes. In our view, this depends on mutual trust and candour; on an ambitious third sector being prepared to innovate; and on the States being willing to trust the experience of charities and act on their input.’
The two foundations argue that specific provision must be made for the third sector in the Revive and Thrive strategy.
Jersey’s States gives far more in charitable grants than Guernsey does.
The creation of the Social Investment Fund was a start, but it needed to be properly financed and prepared to give long-term support to charities.
The foundations also argue against the strategy’s focus on specific economic sectors like tourism and hospitality.
Instead they say it is better to focus on outcomes linked to cohorts of people, for example the low paid.
‘Rather than design a system that, for example, offers protections to the hospitality sector, the objective should address poverty pay across all sectors. Ultimately, the impact of Covid will hit the already disadvantaged the hardest, and we expect to be asked to support the sector over an extended period – one that potentially extends beyond the parameters of any phased recovery.’
The letter was signed by GCF chair Wayne Bulpitt and LBFCI chair Kate Le Quesne.