What you tell us makes a difference

tom elkinsThe annual local Compacts survey - now in its third year - is one of the key ways that Compact Voice understands the health of local Compacts, what's working, what isn't, and what needs to be done to strengthen and support local partnership working.

Those of you who follow the @compactvoice Twitter account will have seen a flurry of messages about the survey being open.

We have used the information provided in the previous surveys to better support Compact working, both locally and nationally.

It has helped set our priorities, enabled us to provide evidence to central government to improve their policies, and given our engagement team insight into where they should be focussing their efforts.

This year, we aren't just asking about how local Compacts are working, but also exploring the impact of some of the major policy initiatives which the coalition government has launched. Unsure about how DCLG's Best Value Guidance will affect your local activities? Let us know.

Has the rapidly changing health landscape given you new opportunities? Share your experiences. Not heard about the Social Value Act? Learn more and tell us what difference you think it might make. Your opinions matter to us.

Recently we asked our members and networks what we should focus our activities on. The three most popular topics were health, local funding, and commissioning. In response, we have worked with local areas to better understand the impact of spending cuts.

We have published an additional section of the local Compact user guide on the new health landscape. And we are putting together a comprehensive briefing on commissioning and procurement and the role of local Compacts. What you tell us makes a difference to what we do, and what we can do. So this is an appeal for your time, your insight, your expertise.

The survey will only take about ten minutes to complete. Every entry is anonymous, so you can share your views with honesty. And each completed response (where we have contact details) will get entered into a prize draw to win a Kindle Paperwhite - though we can't guarantee that a copy of the Compact will be preloaded...

So for the amount of time it takes to make a very strong cup of tea, search the internet for amusing cat photos, listen to Autobahn by Kraftwerk (which you could do at the same time) or learn to write your name in Elvish, you could instead be genuinely helping us to improve the relationship between government and the voluntary sector. And did I mention that prize draw?

The link to the survey is here and we will be publishing the results in September. Many thanks to those who have already filled it in, and thanks in advance to those of you who are planning to do it. Your efforts, as ever, are appreciated.

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