ABLSI Report

Argyll and Bute Local Services Initiative - ABLSI

ABLSI logoWe are proud to have a vibrant third sector in Argyll and Bute delivering a wide range of services and amenities, from social care to cinemas, across our mainland and our 25 inhabited islands. We believe that working in partnership with the third sector, communities and our customers is key to ensuring that services are based on need and are delivered in the most sustainable way. Through the Argyll and Bute Local Services Initiative we have grasped the opportunity to examine how we can do this better, and to make changes based on the lessons learned from this. These are captured in the Recommendations and Actions section of this report.
The aim of the Local Services Initiative was to:
  • Identify key success factors for social enterprise delivery of public services.
  • Create a set of recommendations that empower social enterprises and public sector to better deliver local services in Argyll and Bute.
  • Provide an evidence base with which to influence key policy makers and decision makers.

In order to achieve these aims ABLSI steering group identified and worked with a number of local servicespaths pic 1 that would benefit from the project. These included:

  • Children and Families
  • Coast and Countryside Trust
  • ArtsQwest
  • Kintyre Recycling
  • Adult Care Services

As well as focusing on research and learning, ABLSI also supported the following activities:

  • Support to: Develop impact measurement tools, draft memorandum and articles.
  • Training on a range of topics: Procurement, TUPE transfers, Finance, Contracts.
  • Use of consultants to: Co-produce a new funding process, run a public consultation; mediate over contract renewal.

By providing support and assistance to these services, it became apparent that there was much to learn from each organisation and set of circumstances. The next phase of research (between May and June 2012) was to conduct in-depth interviews with those responsible for the delivery of each service to capture this learning. There were ten case studies identified within Argyll and Bute. These included those that directly received support from ABLSI (see above) as well as other existing services/ social enterprises which could also provide valuable learning for future service provision.Coasteering stramash

These included:

  • Stramash
  • Atlantis Leisure
  • The Short Break Bureau
  • The Health and Wellbeing Network
  • Reshaping Care for Older People

Each case study provided a different set of circumstances and potential learning, based upon their stage of development. This table shows the different stages of maturity of each service at the time of the study. Download the report for more information or details of the case studies. ABLSI Report.

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Steering Group members:

  • Councillor Louise Glen-Lee, Argyll and Bute Council.
  • Jane Fowler, Argyll and Bute Council.
  • Arlene Cullum, Argyll and Bute Council.
  • David Rennie, Argyll and Bute Council.
  • Ailsa Clark, Argyll and Bute Social Enterprise Network.
  • Bill Stewart, Argyll and Bute Social Enterprise Network.
  • Glenn Heritage, Argyll Voluntary Action.
  • Kirsty Tait, Carnegie UK Trust.
  • Alison McGrory, NHS Highland.
  • John Watt, University of Strathclyde.

stick men bannerThe Steering Group is thankful to Highlands and Island Enterprise for funding this work; the contributors to the case studies and the communities of Argyll and Bute who use and have a say in their local services. Thanks also to past members.

  • Councillor Alex McNaughton, Argyll and Bute Council.
  • Nick Wilding, Carnegie UK Trust.
  • Kirsty Clark, Argyll and Bute Social Enterprise Network.
  • Eleanor Mackinnon, Argyll Voluntary Action.

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Social Value Lab -  Evaluation Report

Social Value Lab logoSocial Value Lab carries out rigorous evaluation work, and helps others to do the same. Their focus is on outcomes gauging the changes, benefits, learning or other effects that result from activities.

Social Value Lab use evaluation as a tool for learning and change. They use techniques that are participative and inclusive, and are committed to demystifying evaluation rather than creating a dependency on outside evaluators.

 The ABLSI project was set up to stimulate, facilitate and support co-production with three key objectives:

  • Develop an evidence base of successful co-operation and co-production between the public sector and the Third Sector in Argyll and Bute to influence key decision makers within the public sector;
  • Identify the key success factors for co-production of services and delivery of services by the Third Sector; and
  • Provide recommendations to support closer co-operation between the public sector and social enterprise providers in local service delivery.

The study was carried out by Social Value Lab between November 2012 and January 2013. It was based on a qualitative research design that involved a number of main stages:

  • A focus group discussion meeting with the ABLSI Steering Group, to understand the origins of the project, the timeline of activities, and a first level perception on partnership working and impact.
  • Review of documents relating to ABLSI, including strategy documents, budget information, evaluations and other relevant documents.
  • Extended in-depth interviews with all members of the ABLSI Steering Group.
  • Semi-structured telephone interviews with a selection of Argyll and Bute Council staff and social enterprise representatives who have been involved in ABLSI interventions.

To find out more download the evaluation report.

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For more information or support in accessing the report contact us here

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PDF icon ABLSI Report.pdf1.57 MB
PDF icon ABLSI Evaluation Report.pdf498.72 KB