Big Society contractors? Big questions for voluntary organisations
Abstract:The experience of housing associations (HAs) has not been taken into account in many of the discussions about the transfer of responsibility for delivering public services from statutory bodies to voluntary agencies. This article addresses this omission by reviewing the recent history of the larger HAs. It addresses six key issues that might yield lessons for other voluntary organisations considering invitations to become mass service contractors in the 'Big Society': independence; user satisfaction and empowerment; the ability to tackle needs flexibly across the boundaries with other agencies; involvement in campaigning; recognition as part of civil society; and their ability to nurture the spirit of volunteering and giving. The article concludes by suggesting the questions that voluntary organisations should ask themselves before embracing the new role that is being urged on them.
Document Type: Regular Paper
Publication date: March 1, 2012
Voluntary Sector Review publishes high-quality, peer-reviewed, accessible papers on third sector research, policy and practice. It is an invaluable cutting-edge resource for all those researching or working in the fast-growing voluntary, community and wider third sectors.
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Editors: Nick Acheson (University of Ulster, UK), Bernard Harris (University of Strathclyde, UK), Rob Macmillan, (University of Birmingham, UK)
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