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Voluntary sector in transitionHard times or new opportunities?$
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Linda Milbourne

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9781847427236

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847427236.001.0001

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Collaboration in Community-Based Projects: Solutions or New Organisational Challenges?

Collaboration in Community-Based Projects: Solutions or New Organisational Challenges?

(p.123) Six Collaboration in Community-Based Projects: Solutions or New Organisational Challenges?
Voluntary sector in transition

Linda Milbourne

Policy Press

This chapter draws on a study of community-based organisations providing children and young people's services in a relatively poor English inner-city area, to examine recent collaborative projects from a voluntary sector perspective. Voluntary organisations have been heavily involved in collaborative projects, and partnership work has been a strong component of public policy, underpinning frameworks through which many local services have been planned, managed and delivered. The chapter initially locates ideas of collaboration within political and policy changes and then considers conceptual debates around partnership and collaboration which help to shed light on the examples discussed subsequently. The research highlights barriers to collaborative work at inter-personal, institutional, structural and policy levels, and factors contributing to positive outcomes. It distinguishes between instrumental and engaged forms of collaborative participation where the first may serve particular interests and the latter a commitment to learning from partners. Collaborative arrangements frequently entail ambiguous or poorly understood purposes and structures, and present challenges for organisational accountabilities and different ways of working. The chapter argues that collaboration often depends significantly on local actors and improvised arrangements so that outcomes may be highly contingent on local settings and willingness to share power.

Keywords:   Partnership, Co-operation, Co-production, Capacity building, Community cohesion, Conflict, Grassroots, Engagement, Inter-organisational learning

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