Frontline voluntary and community organisations are often argued to need capacity building support of various kinds, but, in a context of austerity, how should this be organised and funded? Policy makers and many funders are rethinking the ways in which such support might be delivered. There is increasing interest in ‘demand-led’ capacity building, where frontline organisations choose and purchase the support they require from a range of providers. In what seems to be a far cry from previous models of support during the ‘golden age’ of infrastructure investment, a market for capacity building looks like it is in the making.
However, we know very little about how this extending market is being constructed and how it works. In order to explore these questions, this seminar compares three ‘demand-led’ capacity building initiatives in practice: the BIG Assist programme and local schemes in Sheffield and Worcestershire. It considers the dilemmas involved in designing the architecture for an emerging market in capacity building, and for working within it. The seminar concludes by discussing the broader implications of ‘demand-led’ capacity building for the relationship between the voluntary sector and markets.
Caron Walton is an Associate Fellow at the Third Sector Research Centre and PhD student at Sheffield Business School. Her research interests focus on market-orientation and interconnectedness between employees in decentralised business units in third sector organisations.
Rob Macmillan is a Research Fellow at the Third Sector Research Centre. His research interests primarily focus on capacity building and infrastructure, and the relationship between markets and the third sector.
A free lunch will be provided from 13.15 - seminar 14.00 -16.00.