GM H&SC VCSE Engagement end of programme evaluation

The GM Health and Social Care VCSE Engagement (H&SCEngage) programme is due to come to an end in September 2021. In October 2020 the funders (GM Health and Social Care Partnership) commissioned a 6-month long evaluation to find out how successful the 4.5 year programme has been so far.

What did the evaluation seek to find out?

Cordis Bright (the evaluators) were asked to answer the following question; To what extent has the VCSE Engagement programme been successful in achieving progress towards the outcomes set out in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU - an agreement between GM Health and Social Care Partnership and the GM VCSE sector).

What did the evaluation look at?

There are a number of outputs from the programme which helped inform the evaluation;

  • Case studies from four projects that the H&SCEngage enabled: Mental Health Leaders Group, Homelessness Action Network, GM VCSE Commissioning Framework and the Big Alcohol Conversation

  • Face to face interviews with senior leaders across GM from both the statutory and VCSE sector with a strategic perspective on transformation in GM

  • Data from the above was analysed to identify key themes concerning the achievements and impact of the programme and individual projects within the programme

  • Network analysis to find out how the programme has influenced connections and relationships between people within the VCSE sector and between people in the VCSE and public sector

"We didn’t have a very mature set of relationships before, so the Engagement Project has helped to create these. It has helped build the foundations for working together and gaining credibility with GM partners."

What did the evaluation find?

Overall the evaluation found that the programme has made demonstrable progress towards the longer-term outcomes in the MoU, but also in delivering intermediate outcomes such as stronger relationships, mutual understanding, the capacity and skills to engage in strategic conversations, and a wider recognition of the contribution the VCSE sector can make.

"The project has put a lot of effort into putting VCSE people onto boards etc. to provide a link between communities and the statutory sector."

Key successes include:

  • The programme has led to the VCSE sector now being in the right space to help shape decisions and strategy development

  • There is increased information sharing and dialogue between statutory and VCSE sectors

  • The VCSE sector is valued by the public sector

  • The development of the Mental health Leaders Group and it;s connection with the H&SCP is a success story to be replicated in other areas

  • The creation of the VCSE Commissioning Framework

  • The role of the GM VCSE Leadership Group as trusted voices

What still needs to happen?

There are still areas of work that need to continue to fully realise the ambitions set out in the MoU;

  • Implementation of the VCSE Commissioning Framework more widely

  • Moving investment upstream and into more preventative, community-led activities

  • Aligning the next version of the MoU more closely to existing strategies

  • Longer terms funding for VCSE led activities and services

  • Not all localities have same level of engagement from VCSE sector in health and social care system - need to improve level of VCSE engagement in these localities

You can read the full report on the GMCVO website here.

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