Greater Manchester Centre for Voluntary Organisation

Big Society to be examined

The first audit of 'Big Society', and the effectiveness of policies to shift power from Government to civil society, has been launched and is expected to be published in early 2012.
Think tank Civil Exchange, research organisation Democratic Audit and DHA, a social policy communications group, will be conducting the audit after consulting with Government, academics and others about how exactly to gauge the effectiveness or achievements of what has often been criticised as a woolly social policy.
The research, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, will attempt to establish a ‘baseline’ against which subsequent shifts in behaviour and power can be monitored. The audit will also consider the effectiveness of initiatives by the last Labour government to bring about similar changes.
While the auditors hope the audit will become an annual piece of research, Nick Hurd warned recently that ‘Big Society’ will take 10 or 20 years to achieve. Hurd’s comments followed a long period of infrequent use of the phrase ‘Big Society’ by coalition MPs.

[from: Civil Society Governance 18.11.11]