How does problem context matter for cross-sector collaboration? A comparative study of voluntary sector engagement in children’s services and flood management

Jacklin-Jarvis, Carol and Potter, Karen (2017). How does problem context matter for cross-sector collaboration? A comparative study of voluntary sector engagement in children’s services and flood management. In: The Voluntary Sector and Volunteering Research Conference 2017 Proceedings, Institute for Volunteering Research.

Abstract

Collaboration between the UK’s voluntary organisations (VOs) and public agencies is often viewed through the lens of the state’s changing role in service delivery, and the outsourcing of the ‘welfare state’. However the engagement of VOs with the ‘environmental state’ has a very different history. In this comparative study, we contrast cross-sector collaboration in children’s services (‘welfare state’) with the more recent collaboration in flood management (‘environmental state’). We ask whether, and if so how, these different inter-organizational domains set up different expectations for cross-sector collaboration. We argue that the different histories of state involvement in these domains have implications for understanding how collaborative partnerships develop, which partners are engaged, how local communities become involved, and how power dynamics play out between actors from different sectors. Understanding the implications of these different state contexts may enable VOs engaged in flood management partnerships to avoid some of the challenges encountered by VOs in the welfare domain.

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