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Research body launched to foster cross-sector co-operation

By Vivienne Russell | 17 January 2013

A new organisation was launched today with the aim of promoting better collaboration between the public, private and third sectors.

Named Collaborate, it has been established as a community interest company and will be based at London South Bank University. Working with policymakers, academics and practitioners across the three sectors, Collaborate will research and analyse the conditions that foster better co-operation. It will also offer practitioners and leaders a ‘neutral space’ to work together to identify and develop practical solutions to the problems they face.

Founder-director John Tizard told Public Finance: ‘Increasingly complex social, economic and environmental issues cannot be addressed by a single agency, often not by a single sector. We need to achieve more effective collaboration between the public, business and social sectors.

‘Colleagues in all sectors have been saying for some time we need to up the game. We need to understand what the elements for effective collaboration are and we can then ensure that organisations, and individuals within organisations, can portray and display the right behaviours and approaches that will make collaboration more effective.’

He added that Colloborate was unique in that it addressed the question of collaboration on a cross-sector basis.

‘Collaborate is of and from and for the three sectors. Everything we do will be based on co-design and co-production from colleagues in the public, business and social sectors.’

Early projects will consider how the business and voluntary sectors can collaborate better in their responses to public sector contracts and the readiness of the third sector to take on a bigger role in public service delivery.

Collaborate will also absorb the Public Management and Policy Association, hitherto based at CIPFA. Tizard said Collaborate’s more public-facing work, such as lectures and seminars, would take place using the PMPA brand and approach. Many of these events will continue to take place at CIPFA’s Robert Street London premises.

A council of public, private and third sector leaders has been formed to provide challenge and support to Collaborate. Chaired by Turning Point chief executive Victor Adebowale, other members include: Dame Mary Marsh, former chief executive of the NSPCC and founding director of the Clore Social Leadership Programme; London Borough of Lewisham chief executive Barry Quirk; David Orr of the National Housing Federation; and Jeremy Stafford, chief executive of Serco.

Initial funding has been provided by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, Serco, London South Bank University, the National Housing Federation and Anthony Collins Solicitors.




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