There's lots of discussion around partnership working and the scoping of consortia opportunities. The drivers for this include:
- Government interest as policy maker and funder
- Public sector and other funders looking to maximise return on investment
- The sector itself looking for ways to improve efficiency and effectiveness.
Before embarking on a collaborative journey, there's two main questions to ask.
- Will it improve outcomes for our beneficiaries?
- What do we need to do to ensure that the partnership is a positive one?
One of the things that makes consortium delivery attractive is it can be a way of keeping service delivery local; ensuring that existing small local organisations, often delivering to niche groups within the community, can continue to operate rather than losing out to larger competitive bidders from outside the area. Collaboration also has the potential to offer 'collaborative advantage' (i.e. better coordinated, user-focused services that are greater than the sum of the organisations’ parts). However, collaboration is not always easy and will not be right for every organisation.