Preceding sections have set out a series of concerns within health and social care and have identified key human rights legislation of relevance to these concerns. We have also suggested (in Part IV) ways in which the incorporation of human rights into the work of voluntary sector organisations may complement existing efforts and help to bring about improvements in the way that health needs are addressed.
The time available within the project for engaging with the pilot organisations is limited, and the selection of these organisations will therefore be key in determining the impact and sustainability of the work as a whole. In this final section we identify criteria for making this selection and for making sure that learning from the pilot group can be transferred to other organisations working in the field – both within the project itself, and beyond.
- The final selection of pilot organisations will be made not only on the basis of the suitability of a particular organisation, but will also take into account the need to see a range of issues, functions and types of organisations within the pilot group.
5.1.1 Pilot organisations
22.214.171.124 Issues to be addressed
The issues raised and groups identified in Section III are not the only ones where health and social care is a concern. However, it is clear that there are certain significant groups and sectors of the population either whose needs are failing to be met on a regular basis, or where abuse is particularly severe.
We shall aim to have represented within the pilot group organisations working in the following sectors (some sectors may overlap):
- Mental health
- Elderly people
- Disability / learning disability
- Refugees / asylum seekers
- Social deprivation
- Care homes
- Service providers
- Sexual and reproductive rights
Women, children and young people, patient care, LGBT, and HIV / AIDs are also important areas we would like to see represented. Organisations working on other issues, if they fulfil the remaining criteria, will be considered on an equal basis.
126.96.36.199 Number of pilots
The original proposal envisaged a group of 5 pilot organisations. We believe it will be both possible within the framework of the project, and more effective, to select a larger group. This will allow us to work in three centres – Birmingham, Liverpool and London – and at the same time to ensure that a small group of organisations are close enough geographically to be able to remain in close contact, to cooperate on common areas of concern, and share experience and good practice. Enlarging the pilot group will provide some security against ‘drop-out’, which at a time of insecurity for the voluntary sector, is a possibility that needs to be taken into account. The enlargement of the pilot group will also allow us to cover a broader range of issues within the project.
- We shall aim to select 3 – 6 organisations in each of London, Liverpool and Birmingham which will support and work closely with one another over the course of the project
188.8.131.52 Functions / role
The voluntary sector fulfils a number of key functions with respect to health and social care – in particular:
- Advocacy on behalf of those in need
- Awareness raising / bringing issues to public consciousness
- Educating, empowering and counselling those in need
- Service provision
- Campaigning and lobbying for better services
- We shall aim to select pilot organisations so that each of these areas of activity are reflected in the group as a whole
184.108.40.206 Size and type
We would like to see a spread of organisations within the pilot group so that both national and local / community level organisations are represented. There are both benefits and potential drawbacks in working with either type: while national organisations are likely to be more secure and possess a wider reach, it can also be more difficult to implement change in a large organisation which already has proven methods of working. The benefit of including community based organisations lies in their direct contact with the different issues touching their clients, and in the relative ease of including most members of staff directly. A model which can be extended to other community based organisations and which can use the reach of national organisations is more likely to be useful at the project end. There are also benefits in bringing together local and national organisations.
- We aim to include a range of organisations within the pilot group – some working at regional or national level, some at local or community level
220.127.116.11 Geographical spread
We intend to make Birmingham, Liverpool and London centres for the different groups, but would not exclude organisations lying just outside any of these regions if they seem particularly suitable on other grounds
18.104.22.168 Capacity and coordinating role
Previous work with community based organisations has shown us that the presence of a committed coordinator within the organisation, and evidence of capacity within the organisation to take on additional – voluntary – work is of key importance. The coordinator should ideally be someone already familiar with human rights (see section 22.214.171.124 below) and should be well-placed within the organisation to ensure that the learning can be transferred to other members of staff - and that it is likely to be acted on. The question of capacity is harder to gauge but we would need to see evidence that space will be made for particular individuals to work on the project and also that the organisation itself is sufficiently committed to make time for internal discussions and review.
- We would like to see some evidence of commitment and basic human rights awareness from key individuals within the organisation – including from management
- We would like to be sure of the presence of a coordinator who can make time for the work, has the support of the organisation and has ideas for how the project could contribute to the work being carried out in health and social care
126.96.36.199 Relations with other organisations or service providers
While it is not essential that all the organisations have established some relations with the public sector – or other service providers – it would be useful to have this represented in the group. It would be an added benefit if members of the pilot group were able to show links with other voluntary sector organisations as this would help to spread learning and increase the impact.
- We would like to have a few organisations in the pilot group already in working relationships with (public sector) service providers
- We would regard it as a benefit if organisations in the pilot group were able to show that they are already in close working relationships with other VCS organisations
188.8.131.52 Level of human rights awareness
Many of the organisations which attended one of the open sessions for the project have expressed an interest in being involved further as part of the pilot group. These organisations have all had a basic introduction to human rights (and many were already human rights aware). While we would not limit the selection to organisations which attended one of the open sessions, we would like to see some basic awareness of human rights at least among some members of each organisation.
- We regard it as important that at least some people in the organisation have a basic understanding of human rights – at least to the level provided at the open sessions.
184.108.40.206 Selection process
We will send out information on the project and the criteria for selection of the pilot organisations to attendees of the open sessions who expressed an interest in being further involved and also to a number of other organisations working on health and social care that we would like to see represented. The information will be sent out towards the end of April 2011 and the final selection will be made at the beginning of June.
Organisations wishing to apply will be asked to submit the following information:
- A brief account of the organisation’s key activities and aims
- Suggestions as to how the project may contribute to these activities or aims – based on the ideas in Section IV or involving other initiatives
- A nominated individual, with brief background on the role within the organisation
- An account of how the organisation will make sure that the project has an impact beyond the project end (in particular, how the learning will be transferred throughout the organisation)
- Reasons for selecting this organisation above others – in particular, addressing some of the criteria for selection outlined above
1.1.2 Involving other organisations
Voluntary sector organisations can learn a great deal from each other, and their impact can be increased by working in association with others on common points of interest. We would like to be able to involve any interested organisation, whether or not they are selected as a pilot, in a wider association of organisations working on health and social care. We hope that this wider association can look to the pilot organisations for examples of good practice – and that the pilot organisations may be prepared to offer some support in this respect.
Two other elements of the project can help to sustain the wider network of organisations and help to bring members into contact with each other.
220.127.116.11 Online forum and resources
We will use the online forum both to retain contact with pilot organisations between the learning sets, and to provide an opportunity for the wider network to exchange experience and share good practice or lessons learnt. We may set up two forums for these different purposes – depending on what the pilot organisations feel would be most useful. The forums will be moderated by BIHR and will be used to prompt pilot organisations to record achievements, difficulties, relevant internal processes, and changed strategies as a result of the project. The forums will also refer organisations to useful literature or other resources.
The online resources will include key literature on human rights of relevance to the project, examples of good practice, and ideas for other organisations to embed human rights in their work. They will be placed on a dedicated section of the website for easy access.
18.104.22.168 Open courses
We would like to use the three open courses to strengthen the wider network. The content, purpose, location and target audience will be discussed at the next meeting of the Advisory Group, but an option to be considered involves restricting attendance to those who have a basic level of human rights awareness – including many who participated in the open sessions – but who need more guidance in order to embed this in their work. In this way, the courses may provide a valuable means of supporting those who are part-way towards implementing a rights based approach and they will be a way of feeding in the experiences of the pilot group.
If advised otherwise, we would use the courses to extend the network and disseminate more widely the results of the project.