Ten years ago my work in Dudley was focused on ways that community groups, faith groups and voluntary organisations could influence decision making about local services in the borough. There were all sorts of partnerships of leaders, policy makers and managers creating strategies and plans in relation to regeneration, learning, health, community safety, housing, the environment, heritage and more. It was very difficult to know if our sector was exercising any influence on decisions and plans being made, and what impact we were having.
So we embarked on what was to become a seven year journey with community development specialists changes, contributing to the development and local use of an influence framework for groups and networks. It is called Voice, and it can help small charities to think through ways to increase their influence. (The Voice framework led to three other influence frameworks being developed – see changes website for more about these.)
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