In May 2012 the Baring Foundation hosted a seminar for leading thinkers and practitioners on the theme of intercultural dialogue. It was organised by brap (Birmingham Race Action Partnership) as part of its work for the Foundation to generate lessons from the Awards for Bridging Cultures.
Interculturalism. A breakdown of thinking and practice: lessons from the field
Between 2008 and 2010, the Baring Foundation funded the annual Awards for Bridging Cultures run by the Institute of Community Cohesion. These rewarded and celebrated grassroots practice in intercultural dialogue. Since then we have commissioned the Birmingham based human rights organisation, brap, to examine what can be learnt about good practice from the award winners. Their first report is now published and will be followed by a series of shorter manuals later this year.
Social welfare law: what the public wants from civil legal aid
The Foundation has supported the Legal Action Group (LAG) to carry out two public opinion surveys conducted by GfK NOP on the public’s views on civil legal aid services. In November 2010, LAG published What Is Fair?. On 5th March 2012, LAG published a follow-up poll, Social welfare law: what the public wants from civil legal aid. This second publication was launched to coincide with the report stage of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill in the House of Lords. The results of the poll capture just how robust public support is for free legal advice services and how the government is in danger of ignoring the strong views of the public in its plans to cut much of civil legal aid.
As a follow up to Going Global published in 2007, the same foundations, Nuffield, Paul Hamlyn and ourselves, have commissioned an update on the scale and character of the contribution of independent foundations in the the UK to international development, called Global grant-making. Based on information from 2009/10 it concludes that foundations provide around £292 million in funding to civil society working on development, roughly half that from the Department for International Development. This is around 9% of the total spending of all UK foundations. Foundations fund a wide range of work and Africa attracts the largest percentage of funding at 37%. The report concludes with a series of challenges and issues for foundations working in this field.
Protecting Independence: The Voluntary Sector in 2012
The Foundation has a long standing interest in the independence of the voluntary sector. In 2011 we initiated the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector. This is a five year initiative to bring together a group of authoritative sector figures to make a regular public statement on the state of voluntary sector independence in order to stimulate reflection, debate and action. This is the panel’s first statement.
Use it or Lose it: A summative evaluation of the Compact by Practical Wisdom R2Z
David Cutler, Director of the Baring Foundation, was a Non-Executive Director of the Commission for the Compact from 2007 until its abolition in 2011. This report was the final piece of research funded by the Commission and describes the relevance of the Compact to the voluntary sector in general and the prospects for its future.
Report on national conference on arts and older people
On 19th October 2011 the first national conference on arts and older people in the UK was held at Manchester Town Hall. Over 200 people attended the free, day-long event. The Foundation which funded the conference is extremely grateful to our partners All About Audiences and the Valuing Older People Unit in Manchester Council.
In 2006, the Foundation made 22 grants under its STVS – independence programme. This programme was a response to the expanding role of many voluntary agencies in delivering a range of services in partnership with the state and a concern about the impact of these changes on their independence of action. The report describes the grants that were made and reviews the results. It finds that certain types of organisational resources seemed particularly helpful, including work on improving monitoring and evaluation, negotiation skills and strategic planning. Most important, however, seems to have been the opportunity that grants gave organisations to reflect on who and what they are, their core identity and values. It was this that then moved organisations to use their new organisational resources in active and confident pursuit of their independence.
The outcomes & impact of youth advice – the evidence
The Foundation has been supporting work to gather evidence of the role and value of legal advice on different parts of the population. This report, by James Kenrick from Youth Access, focuses on children and young people. The report demonstrates the critical difference that getting good advice can make to young people’s health and well-being, and highlights the contribution that advice services can make to the achievement of a range of major central and local government policy goals relating to health, education, employment, housing, poverty, crime and child protection. The report also contains important messages for local front-line advice services about good practice. For example, it identifies the service characteristics that appear to be most closely related to achieving good outcomes for young clients, including face-to-face advice provided through independent, holistic, young person-centred services.