A brave new world for voluntary sector infrastructure? Vouchers, markets and demand-led capacity building

WALTON, Caron and MACMILLAN, Rob (2014). A brave new world for voluntary sector infrastructure? Vouchers, markets and demand-led capacity building. Working Paper. Birmingham, University of Birmingham.

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Frontline voluntary and community organisations are often argued to need capacity building support of various kinds, but, in a context of austerity, how should this be organised and funded? Policy makers and many funders are rethinking the ways in which such support might be delivered. There is increasing interest in ‘demand-led’ capacity building, where frontline organisations choose and purchase the support they require from a range of providers. In what seems to be a far cry from previous models of support during the ‘golden age’ of infrastructure investment, a market for capacity building looks like it is in the making. However we know very little about how this extending market is being constructed and how it works. This paper is the outcome of a short piece of applied research on three ‘demand-led’ capacity building initiatives in practice: the BIG Assist programme, and local schemes in Sheffield and Worcestershire. It considers the challenges involved in designing the architecture for an emerging market in capacity building, and for working within it. Although the three schemes are clearly a departure from existing models of infrastructure support, the study concludes by questioning whether ‘demand-led capacity building’ is an appropriate label given the opaque but important role played by funders and programme operators in the capacity building process.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research
Depositing User: Jill Hazard
Date Deposited: 03 Aug 2018 13:59
Last Modified: 12 May 2021 19:13
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/22191

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