Peter Horner

Peter Horner

Convening - on whose terms? Voluntary sector infrastructure, strategic influencing and independence of voice

This research will look at the role of voluntary sector infrastructure organisations in convening the voluntary and community sector (VCS) locally. Much is known about the role of local infrastructure organisations in building the capacity of organisations; much less is known about their role in co-ordinating and networking the VCS, place leadership and building partnerships with statutory bodies. This research will seek to address some of that knowledge gap. It will particularly focus on examining how local infrastructure organisations enable the VCS to influence strategically at a local level and explore factors that affect the independence, effectiveness and inclusiveness of the VCS’ voice.

Statutory bodies are increasingly recognising the value of involving the voluntary sector in strategic decision making and place shaping. However, there are questions as to whose voices are heard, the extent to which the VCS shapes or is shaped by the local strategic agenda and what impact the engagement has. Local infrastructure organisations’ role in convening the VCS is therefore becoming increasingly important, in order to navigate these challenges and to facilitate, support and lead the sector’s strategic engagement. Different models of convening have emerged and this research will look at how these different approaches address the issues of power, resourcing and legitimacy and therefore on whose terms the engagement is undertaken.

Collaborative PhD project with NAVCA.

Contact details