Will renewing your Compact be refreshing?

Vicky ReddingIn my new role as Engagement Development Officer for Compact Voice I’ve been talking to different people who have either recently updated or are planning to update their local Compact.
Their motivation for doing this varies. Some want to bring their local Compact in line with the renewed national Compact published at the end of 2010. They like the shorter and simpler format and want to incorporate the five commitments. Others feel that they need to revisit and strengthen partnership working in the context of recent bruising funding cuts. Some areas are looking ahead and viewing the Compact as the foundation for an evolving relationship between the sectors based on the Big Society and Localism agendas.  For others, the recent Best Value Guidance is a reason to look again at the Compact.
So is renewing a refreshing experience? Does it inject enthusiasm and reinvigorate the parts that other documents can’t reach? Well yes, depending of course on how you do it.
The content of a renewed Compact matters, but it is only a document. And if it’s a document that no one understands, knows about or even agrees with, then it’s unlikely to make any difference or to improve partnership working. The message from those who’ve ‘been there done that and got the t-shirt’ is: if you’re renewing your local Compact, don’t worry about the words.
Instead, focus on designing a well thought out and inclusive process. Get senior decision makers involved in leading that process and use the renewal to generate publicity and raise awareness of what the voluntary and community sector can offer.

Engage relevant people from the beginning to give them ownership. Also, make sure the Compact addresses local issues and priorities and is integrated with other key strategies and plans. 
If that sounds daunting or things are not going so well in your area then please get in touch. The Engagement Team - Adam, Cath and I - are here to help make renewing your local Compact as refreshing as possible.

Find out more about the Engagement Team and the support they offer here.

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