Other research, case studies & event reports

Here is grouped a miscellany of reports on our small scale research projects, local case studies and events held. Other material relating to case studies and evidence that we attracted can be found under the tabs ‘Evidence and views from elsewhere‘ and ‘Stories from local groups’. Documents are listed in reverse chronological order i.e. the latest first.

Independent Action in Brighton and Beyond (2015) Radio Free Brighton
Sound recording based on an NCIA-convened meeting in Brighton in July 2015

The landscape of voluntary action (2015) NCIA
Powerpoint presentation to the Policy and Politics Conference September 2015.

NCIA Transition Roadshows Summer (2015) NCIA
Flyer for roadshow meetings as part of the transitions/closure programme.

NCIA Transitions Action and the future (2015) NCIA
Notes of the NCIA Assembly meeting in April 2015.

Cuts, Co-options and Trojan Horses – House of Commons event (2015) NCIA
Brief summary of the presentations at a House of Commons event hosted by John McDonnell MP in June 2015.

The Impact of Coalition Policies on Service-providing Voluntary Organisations (2014) Andy Benson & Colin Rochester
Paper prepared for the VSSN conference in November 2014.

Peterborough Social Impact Bond Pilot (2014) Les Huckfield with NCIA
A critical commentary on the evalution of the Peterborough SIB and its significance for the ‘Transforming Rehabilitation’ programme, privatising the Probation Service.

Researchers and Practitioners – Colleagues or Strangers? (2014) NCIA with Universities of Bedfordshire & Nottingham Trent
Report of a small research study into ways of making research findings more accessible to practitioners.

Independence at Risk: The State, the Market and the Voluntary Youth Sector (2014) Bernard Davies; Youth & Policy No 112, April 2014
A commentary on the ideological and political contexts in which the voluntary sector operated based around a review of Colin Rochester’s book ‘Rediscovering Voluntary Action: The Beat of a Different Drum’.

Rediscovering Voluntary Action: The Beat of a Different Drum (2013) Colin Rochester, Palgrave Macmillan
An elegant restatement of the distinctive characteristics of voluntary action and its claims to independence of thought and action, alongside an account of what has gone wrong. Includes a chapter dealing with the early years of NCIA’s development.

Gaining Power: Challenges Facing Activists (2012) NCIA and NatCAN
Report of an event in July 2012 aimed at offering an opportunity for activists to discuss how to spread the knowledge and skills needed to challenge damaging local and national decisions. An audience of voluntary sector, public sector and community volunteers came together to share their passion, skills and views.

Outsourcing and Austerity: Civil Society and the Coalition Government (2012) NCIA with TUC, Unite, Unison and NAVCA
Report of conference proceedings. A video of the speech from NCIA’s Andy Benson can be viewed here.

Is competition killing us? (2012) NCIA with LVSC
Notes from an event in May 2012 with London Voluntary Service Council about commissioning and its impact on the work and independence of voluntary groups.

What does the future hold for NCIA? (2012) NCIA
Notes from a Planning Group review, May 2012.

Short term funding to meet external targets (2011) NCIA
Case study of what happened when a youth work project accepted funding to work with young people in ‘hotspots’ for crime and anti-social behaviour and tried to evaluate their work in terms of what worked and what didn’t rather than ticking boxes for the youth service.

From partner to butler: Defending young people’s participation from local authority takeover (2011) NCIA
This shows how a council’s narrow vision of voluntary action limited young people’s participation in local democracy and describes some of the tactics a youth council used to keep their voice.

From merger to managerialism (2011) NCIA
This case study details lessons learned from a merger between a small youth work organisation and an organisation with a more hierarchical management style. It offers practical advice about how to hang on to the principles of community-based work with young people and advises caution when considering merging.

Talking about independent action (2011) NCIA
Notes to help bloggers and speakers prepare.

Notes from NCIA Assembly meetings 2010-2011(2011) NCIA
Paper detailing discussions at 4 Assembly meetings, including one held as part of the Occupy protest in December 2011.

Tyranny or Democracy at Work? (2010) NCIA
Notes from a meeting at Nottingham Trent University to discuss the damaging effects of managerialism on the voluntary sector workforce.

Old hands and the new wave of activists (2010) NCIA
Notes from an NCIA workshop as part of a Netroots conference in London on 8 January 2010.

What do we do about cuts, privatisation and public services? (2010) NCIA
Notes of a special Planning Group meeting on the 18th May 2010.

The local state and voluntary action in West Sussex (2010) Adur Voluntary Action, NCIA
Qualitative research with 16 voluntary organisations found that short-term government policies and commissioning undermined independent action and damaged the local political process, making it more difficult to respond to the needs of local people. Policies which may be appropriate to commission public services are not suitable for strengthening community life, locally-rooted services, and cohesion.
Summary report
Full report

Standing up for ourselves: supporting independent action amongst local advice agencies (2010) NCIA
Report on the state of independent action in the UK advice sector, based on work done in 2009-10 by NCIA and Advice UK with local advice services to safeguard and nurture independent advice services. The report highlights lessons learnt in four places as well as the joint working relationship between NCIA and Advice UK.
Full Report
Summary Report
Project prospectus

Thoughts and Views on ‘Independence’ (2008) Bernard Davies NCIA
Feedback from interviews and a consultation meeting dealing with ideas about independence in the voluntary sector.

The beginnings of a shared approach? (2008) NCIA
Notes from a meeting with national and regional infrastructure bodies in February 2008.

Taking Voluntary and Community Action (2006) NCIA
Notes of the first NCIA convened meeting to discuss independence and the voluntary sector.

Protest, opposition and action – a healthy state of play? (2005)  Penny Waterhouse NCIA
A personal inquiry into the balance of power between the citizen and the establishment. Ways to think about our power. How people feel about using their power. And the differences between protestors and professionals when they take on the establishment.