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1292414472 Funding Brokerage Mo

1292414472 Funding Brokerage Mo

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Published by: ImprovingSupport on Dec 15, 2010
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Alternative approaches to capacity building – emerging practices abroad
Third sector capacity building: Alternative practices abroadAustralia: funding brokerage modelSection A
This is a place-based non-government funding brokerage partnership model withbuilt in community development roles which have played out predominately asorganisational capacity-building roles due to a high degree of flexibility in the funding.Lead non-profit provider organisations become contractors of other non-profitproviders and, in some cases, provider government organisations against acommunity derived strategic and services plan. The intermediary organisations andcapacity builders are themselves larger non-profit provider organisation or consortiums of small provider organisations.
 In recent years, Australia has seen the introduction of managerial and marketreforms of the public sector, leading to a shift towards a contracting relationship withthe third sector. There has been a subsequent resurgence of the idea of ‘partnershipbetween government and the third sector, recognising the value of long-term,collaborative relationships between the ‘purchaser’ and the ‘supplier’ of services. Thissuggests that currently the contracting relationship in Australia is rhetorically morepartnership than market model. Government has also promoted networking within thethird sector through informal encouragement or through contract specification, suchas in the case of the Child Care Support programme and the Communities for Children programme
, which is the case discussed here. 
Section B: Logic of the approach
Third sector capacity here is defined as the capacity of TSOs to deliver services to aparticular client group – young children and their families. The basic principleunderlying this initiative is that the coordination of services and communityengagement are crucial for the effective provision of services to children in their earlyyears and their families. The capacity of local providers of children’s services is builtthrough intermediary Facilitating Partners, which are funded by government and who,
See the government department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairswebsite for information on the national evaluation:http://www.fahcsia.gov.au/sa/families/pubs/SFCSevaluation/Pages/evaluationpubssupport.aspx
Alternative approaches to capacity building – emerging practices abroad
in turn, engage with frontline service providers (third sector or government). Thismodel introduces the role of nonprofit agencies as purchasers creating a three tier approach of government as funder, nonprofit as purchaser and nonprofit, for profitand government (other levels) as providers.
The Facilitating Partner facilitates theidentification of local needs and planning, and then supports smaller localorganisations to establish services, or establishes contracts with other non-local andlarger non-profits with expertise to support the delivery of specialist services locally.The initiative is described as a ‘layered funding brokerage model’ in which theDepartment of Family and Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) hascontracts with nonprofit agencies (called Facilitating Partners) to manage site-specificCommunities for Children (CfC) initiative funding. The Facilitating Partner is requiredto establish contracts with local agencies, called Community Partners, to deliver specific activities. Community Partners can be non-profit or governmental. Theintermediary or broker organisations are funded to build the capacity of localcommunity partners, partly through funding and partly through networking and joiningup. The Facilitating Partners develop and implement a strategic and sustainablewhole of community approach to early childhood development, in consultation withlocal stakeholders.According to the logic model of the Initiative, service effectiveness is dependent notonly on the nature and number of services, but also on how seamless the servicedelivery is. Thus much of the CfC effort has been devoted not only to providing newservices, but to ‘joining up’ existing services by increasing service coordination andcooperation. While the programme did not explicitly plan to build capacity throughnetworking, the creation of local groups of Community Partners developedorganisational networks for peer support and collaboration around early yearsservices.The framing discourse is that capacity can be built from the top-down throughchannelling resources effectively and providing resources for capacity development(funding, training, the creation of space for networking etc). The approach is one thatencourages learning on contracting for services and partnership development acrossthe locality, rather than the more arm’s length experience of contracting with thestate, and enabled smaller organisations to develop capacity to compete for funding.
Baulderstone and Earles, 2008. Changing Relationships: How government funding models impactrelationships between organizations. Paper presented at ISTR Conference.
Alternative approaches to capacity building – emerging practices abroad
 Capacity for what?The Stronger Families and Communities Strategy aims to help families andcommunities build better futures for children; build family and community capacity;support relationships between families and the communities they live in; and improvecommunities’ ability to help themselves. It contains four strands:
Communities for Children
Invest to Grow 
Local Answers
(LA) and
Choice and Flexibility inChild Care
. Under the CfC initiative, third sector organisations are funded as'Facilitating Partners' in 45 community sites around Australia, which have beenselected on the basis of high levels of economic and social disadvantage (DFaCSIA2006). They partner with local organisations to increase their capacity to deliver services to children aged 0-5 and their families. The sites have high population riskfactors and low organisational infrastructure and processes.The initiative provides funding to third sector ‘facilitating partners’, who in turn willmediate/translate between the federal funding agency and community partners. Thefacilitating partners are responsible for managing the consultation and planningprocess, tendering and contract management and managing the reporting betweenthe funding department and the community partners.The government’s criteria for identifying third sector organizations to take on this roleare: -
experience in delivering large and complex programmes;
ability to draw on existing organizational infrastructure and resources;
connection to the community and community experts;
existing relationships and community trust (where demonstrated presenceand profile);
necessary governance structures to effectively administer public money onbehalf of the government;
capacity and resources to engage in flexible and responsive planning andproject management in order to respond to changing community need;
and ability to work towards sustainability of outcomes, processes and fundingbeyond the duration of the initiative.

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