Community led commissioning

Sharing power: A new settlement between the citizen and the state identified as a priority the need to change the process for commissioning public services in Lambeth in order to deliver our cooperative ambitions.

The council is working towards a community-led approach to commissioning, which builds on the principles of co-production that are fundamental to the cooperative council.

The community led commissioning process involves:

  • Assessment (or reassessment) of need
  • The identification of resources
  • Planning how to use the resources
  • Arranging service delivery through a procurement process
  • Monitoring and reviewing service delivery

Rather than council officers carrying out these tasks in isolation, as has generally been the case previously, community led commissioning would involve these processes being led by citizens and community groups.

Within this new way of commissioning services, the council’s role will change significantly; though there will still be a need for the authority to ensure that the plans identified locally are representative of local need, and not unfairly influenced by certain groups within the community (sometimes referred to as sectional capture).

Work is underway to develop and pilot a community led commissioning process (a coop council early adopter). The work involves a number of neighbourhoods in Lambeth:

These neighbourhoods are currently identifying priority areas for their locality, based on perceived local needs and present capacity in the community. They will then work with officers from the council departments relevant to their priority areas to develop an action plan to influence the services the council provides in that local area.

One Response to Community led commissioning

  1. Nathan Brown says:

    Communication and Action did some pioneering work on enabling service users within Social Services to identify their own “innate needs” as a step in planning support which meets more than the proscribed statutory needs. As part of University of Southampton’s South East Coastal Communities Inividual Budgets programme, a tool “Clear Needs, New Ideas” was produced which can be downloaded from here:
    It was designed for group use so can be used in community commissioning and has been piloted with a range of stakeholder groups.

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