Rethinking Service: How traditional funding would ruin something good
Describing a local project that supports women who have experienced domestic violence, the author concludes that their current way of working would be ruined if their funding was secured via commissioning processes.
The project is a charity which frees them from many of the constraints that might be imposed through a more conventional funding regime.
‘The support is ‘bespoke-by-default’, responding to each person as an individual. They have a network of friends and volunteers on hand with all sorts of skills – a handyperson, locksmith, experts on the law, housing, immigration, benefits, etc. The support isn’t time limited, and some of the women have been coming for years.’
In five years, none of the women they’ve supported have returned to the abusive relationship.
A move to a more conventional funding regime, the author argues, could impose constraints such as specifying the service model to make it over prescriptive, imposing numerical targets or performance frameworks which would detract from the tailored nature of what they offer. It would make for a very different experience for their users and staff and would be unlikely to make them more efficient. What does this tell us about whether current commissioning models are fit for purpose?
The author outlines some alternative approaches to commissioning that might point the way forward, including links to relevant articles and resources.