Survey findings: The first in our new series

policy blog imageOur annual survey has now closed, and I’ve begun the task of looking into the results. Some really interesting findings are beginning to emerge, which we’ll be sharing over the coming weeks in a series of blogs.

The blogs will highlight some of the key issues arising from the results. They’ll explain the policy area, share our findings, discuss what our position is and point you in the right direction for further information and guidance on the topic. You’ll also be able to download them for sharing and printing.

This was the third year we had attempted to survey every local Compact in England. Although this is a challenge for an organisation of our size, each year we’ve managed to achieve a higher response rate, so I’d like to thank all of you who took the time to answer our survey.

A survey like this is a major piece of work - particularly because before we even send the questions, we take the time to update all the information we hold on local Compacts across England.

This involves contacting the key contacts for local Compact steering groups, local authorities and voluntary organisations, to determine both the current status of their local Compact and whether they are still the best person to speak to about it.

The next step is developing the survey. Every year we include the same benchmarking questions on local Compacts, which allow us to gather a store of comparable information about the health of local Compacts, how many there are and what changes there have been over the last twelve months.

This year, we also asked a range of questions about central government policy. The policy landscape has changed considerably recently, which has the potential to have significant impact on the voluntary sector – we wanted to find out exactly how much impact, and asked questions about:

We know that relationships across sectors in local areas can be complicated, and filling in a survey doesn’t always allow for a full explanation. Because of this, we supplemented the survey with a range of interviews with representatives from different areas. I spoke to many people over the phone about what is happening in their area, so again, my sincere thanks to them for taking the time to supply us with more detail about their local Compact and activities. 

We’ve gained some really useful insights into how organisations are being affected by the above topics, and we’ll be sharing these over the coming weeks.

Now that the survey has closed, I’ve begun analysing the results and evaluating the findings.
Our next blog about the survey will be exploring the findings from questions we asked about the impact of the Health and Social Care Act and how local areas are engaging with the new partnerships that have emerged as a result. We look forward to sharing our findings with you then.    

- Rachel Wharton, Research Assistant

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