Civil Society Futures – final report

26th November 2018

This week saw the launch of the Civil Society Futures report – the result of a two year inquiry into the future of the VCSE sector and how the sector must adapt to economic and social changes, over the next decade and beyond.

The report calls on individuals, charities and organisations in civil society to commit to a new ‘PACT’:

  • POWER: shifting power and sharing more decision-making and control, being a model of inclusive participation for the rest of society.
  • ACCOUNTABILITY: being primarily accountable to the people they serve – instead of putting funders and government first – and being accountable to future generations.
  • CONNECTION: broadening and deepening connections with people and communities, bridging damaging social divides, and investing in a new ‘social infrastructure’.
  • TRUST: devoting more time and resources to build trust in all civil society activity, earning trust by speaking up to politicians and corporations, trusting communities to make the decisions that affect them.

NAVCA CEO Jane Ide said the following in response to the report:

“NAVCA has been engaged in the Civil Society Futures inquiry since its launch two years ago, and we enabled many of our members to be involved directly, feeding in their views and those of the organisations they support and represent.

“The outcome of this wide ranging, in depth, inquiry is a report that is both constructive and challenging. In many ways, as with any good inquiry, it tells us things that in truth we already know but that sometimes are not clearly articulated or described with authority.

“There is much within the report for all of us to consider, not least the potential for change in our own personal practice and behaviour, and of course there are some very specific references to NAVCA and our fellow national infrastructure bodies, with some direct challenges for us to think about.

“But I would say – I hope without complacency – that much of what the report describes is a journey that NAVCA, in its own right as an organisation and with its network of members, is already on.

“The concepts of sharing power with the communities we are here to serve, of being accountable to our beneficiaries, of building deep, meaningful connections and of investing in trusting relationships in order to deliver real change – these are all concepts that I believe are absolutely in the DNA of the local, place based social action movement.

“I look forward very much to exploring the ideas underpinning the report with our members, identifying the very real barriers to making the PACT real, and continuing the journey that we’ve already started towards playing our essential, collaborative role in a healthy, vibrant, powerful civil society of the future.”

The report is available to read and download here.