Sector bodies across the UK have worked together to create the Open Government Pioneers Project, aiming at strengthening civil society’s influence on opening up the devolved governments and pushing progress towards sustainable development goals.
The project is led by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations, Northern Ireland Environment Link, Wales Council for Voluntary Action and Involve UK, a public participation charity. It is linked to the International Open Government Partnership, where governments and civil society of 70 countries are working together to make their governments more open, accountable, and responsive to citizens. » Continue reading news item ... “Opening up government process for sustainable development goals”
The gap in the Labour Party’s shadow cabinet covering the civil society brief has new been filled, by Steve Reed, Labour and Co-operative MP for Croydon North.
Civil Society News on the announcement, or see their interview titled ‘The government has attempted to undermine the sector’. A sample extract:
“You can’t have it both ways, you can’t have the state withdrawing and expecting the voluntary sector to step in when you are slashing your resources at the same time.”
» Continue reading news item ... “Labour shadow voluntary sector minister appointed”
Here are various sector round-ups from the main party conferences, plus some other public policy updates.
Party conference reports
Think tank New Philanthropy Capital was involved in fringe meetings at both the Labour and the Conservative party conferences, and reports back on what they learnt – ‘A view from the 2016 party conferences‘.
Civil Society News reporters also went to both Labour and Conservative events, with separate pieces for each summarising what happened. » Continue reading news item ... “Political and policy update”
As reported by Civil Society News, a new policy unit to improve relations with charities, faith organisations and businesses has been set up by the government, based at 10 Downing Street and closely connected to the Prime Minister.
A fringe event at the Conservative Party conference also saw a call for the government to work more closely with the charity sector. Amongst a range of speakers, the campaign lead at Friends of the Earth said:
“With a new Prime Minister it’s time to reset the relationship between the Conservative government and charities.
» Continue reading news item ... “A move to better charity/government relations?”
This year’s opportunity for staff from government and voluntary organisations to step into each other’s shoes for a day and learn about how the other sector operates is open for applications.
As well as improving cross-sector understanding, the programme helps participants find out about the roles and responsibilities of staff within another organisation, and the operational environments and wider contexts in which they work.
The scheme is run by England’s umbrella body NCVO – find out more and how to apply (by 16th October) here: ‘A Day in the Life’ work shadow scheme 2016/17. » Continue reading news item ... “Swapping shoes to understand government workings”
After some delay, it has been confirmed that the government reshuffle saw both the Office for Civil Society and the Minister for Civil Society (Rob Wilson) moved from the Cabinet Office to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
The reaction of sector leaders was not generally positive: Charity leaders question decision to move charities brief to DCMS. NCVO’s news release was a little more circumspect, saying that it was a good thing to “continue to have an experienced minister, familiar with both the challenges in the sector and the potential that voluntary organisations have to help create a stronger society”. » Continue reading news item ... “Government reshuffle sees move for ‘Civil Society’”