1. Taking independent action
The Methods of Nonviolent Action (1973)
Whatever your place, temperament or interests here’s a fantastic list of all the things we can do, individually or together, which can have an effect on the status quo.
Challenging Times – lobbying local politicians at a time of cuts (2010)
Sean Creighton, NCIA
Questions to ask local politicians about their interest in community action, which highlights the gap between rhetoric and practice.
Do or die – how to survive cuts and recession (2010)
Ideas from some local voluntary groups to balance certainty with uncertainty so you might survive the impact of external economic and political factors and your ability to respond to community needs.
2. ‘Big society’ and local action
What’s the problem with the ‘Big Society’? (2011)
Its mother’s work
Fab list that gives a sharp analysis from a local authority perspective.
Cutting It: The Big Society and the new austerity (2010)
New economics foundation
A short report saying that spending cuts will break the ‘big society’ idea.
Big society cartoons (2010)
Yorkshire and Humberside Voluntary Sector Forum
What people were really thinking at one of the many big society conferences in 2010.
Small can be beautiful (2010)
Adrian Barritt, NCIA
A whistlestop tour of philosophical and political ideas arguing that CVSs can respond to cuts and the ‘big society’ by staying small and independent. Joining up into bigger structures will undermine people’s ability to be locally rooted, self reliant, creative and flexible.
Saved by the Tories? (2008)
Colin Rochester, NCIA
Early analysis of what the Conservatives said they had in store for voluntary action, which concludes that their vision was convincing as an attack on the problems that threatened independent action under New Labour, but didn’t convince as a set of proposals for the future.
Calling for Change (2008)
This report revealed that a mismatch of New Labour government policies and absence of funding undermined the ability of community groups to speak out about the needs of ordinary people. What’s changed?
NCIA’s main analysis of commissioning can be found in our paper: Voluntary action under threat: what privatisation means for charities and community groups (2011).
Say no to commissioning (2012)
25 reasons to go against the trend for procurement and commissioning.
The Impact of Commissioning and Procurement on the Women’s Voluntary and Community Sector (2008)
Women’s Resource Centre
This report concludes that commissioning does not consider the different needs of women and children and therefore often fails to meet their needs.
More Responsive Public Services: A Guide to Commissioning Migrant and Refugee Organisations
Housing Associations Charitable Trust / Joseph Rowntree Foundation
Uncritical big report about how migrants and refugee organsations were encouraged to enter the commissioning fray. Could do with some analysis of the dangers of commissioning for these organisations and their service users, but make your own mind up.
The case against outcomes measurement
This paper examines what are seen as mistaken ideas about the appropriateness of using outcomes as a measure of success in the voluntary sector. It is aimed at bodies like CVSs but it applies to all voluntary groups.
4. Voluntary and community sector organising
Community sector coalition
Independent voice for the community sector (NCIA member Matt Scott is involved.)
Campaign for community development
Contact John Stevens at email@example.com
In defence of youth work
Campaign to reaffirm belief in emancipatory and democratic youth work (NCIA director Bernard Davies is involved).
Social work action network
Campaign to defend the principles of radical social work.
Campaign to reduce pay inequality, particularly in social justice organisations.
Coalition of Resistance
Voluntary sector cuts
Black activists rising against the cuts (BARAC)
6. Trade unions
The community union