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The government's relations with the voluntary sector: what next? An interview with the Right Honourable Alun Michael MP

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Alun Michael was one of the key figures in the development of the Labour Party's policy towards the voluntary sector that was embodied in the 1998 Compact between the government and the voluntary and community sector. He is currently the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Civil Society and Volunteering. In the interview presented in this article, he reflects on the extent to which the Compact led to a change in the culture of the relationship between the government and the sector, and some of the difficulties involved in developing a partnership model. He then discusses the way in which public services are commissioned and assesses the impact of the current government's localism agenda. Finally, he suggests how the relationship between the government and the sector can be strengthened in future.
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Keywords: COMMISSIONING PARTNERSHIP; COMPACT; GOVERNMENT–VOLUNTARY SECTOR RELATIONSHIP; PARTNERSHIP

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 2012

More about this publication?
  • 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.

    The journal covers the full range of issues relevant to voluntary sector studies, including: definitional and theoretical debates; management and organisational development; financial and human resources; philanthropy; volunteering and employment; regulation and charity law; service delivery; civic engagement; industry and sub-sector dimensions; relations with other sectors; social enterprise; evaluation and impact. Voluntary Sector Review covers voluntary sector studies from a variety of disciplines, including sociology, social policy, politics, psychology, economics, business studies, social anthropology, philosophy and ethics. The journal includes work from the UK and Europe, and beyond, where cross-national comparisons are illuminating. With dedicated expert policy and practice sections, Voluntary Sector Review also provides an essential forum for the exchange of ideas and new thinking.

    Rigorous and stimulating, Voluntary Sector Review is an indispensable tool for everyone who values empirically-grounded, theoretically-informed and policy-relevant reviews of the future direction of the voluntary sector.

    Editors: Nick Acheson (Trinity College, University of Dublin, Ireland), Bernard Harris (University of Strathclyde, UK), Rob Macmillan, (University of Birmingham, UK)

    The journal is published in association with the Voluntary Sector Studies Network (VSSN) and a print copy of the journal is a membership benefit.

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