We have been using this briefing paper to inform and influence key policy-makers and decision-makers — including Ministers — arguing for ‘recovery partnerships’ that are more inclusive and which ensure that the organisations whose efforts were vital to the early civil society response to coronavirus — social enterprises, charities, voluntary organisations, community groups — are also able to contribute to the recovery plans that public authorities are now responsible for.
Such organisations were instrumental in making a combined and co-ordinated civil society and public sector response possible.
And yet this is already in danger of being forgotten as public authorities establish recovery groups that offer no access routes for social enterprises, civil society groups or local communities.
If recovery planning is to be more than just business-as-usual this has to change. Social sector and civil society participation in these recovery partnerships has to be meaningful and recovery must mean economic, social and community recovery.
Locality has just published an excellent report called We Were Built for This: How community organisations helped us through the coronavirus crisis –- and how we can build a better future. It makes a similar argument from the particular perspective of community organisations.
The report makes the case for putting neighbourhoods at the heart of local economic development planning, strengthening community powers through the Devolution White Paper, ensuring greater investment in local councils and the communities they represent, embedding the kind of procurement flexibility and innovation that made rapid emergency response possible through public/civil society partnerships in the early weeks of the crisis, and investment to support and further develop the thousands of mutual aid groups that formed at the local level.
Anyone working to inform and influence recovery planning in their own areas will find something of use in Locality’s report.
→ Read more about We Were Built for This on the Locality website.
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