Magazine article Public Finance

Voluntary Sector 'Knows Best How to Involve Service Users'

Magazine article Public Finance

Voluntary Sector 'Knows Best How to Involve Service Users'

Article excerpt

Greater user involvement in services offers the voluntary sector its best opportunity to become involved in public sector reform, according to the chief executive of the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Addressing the NCVO's Public Service Delivery Network's first annual conference on November 24, Stuart Etherington said the sector had an important role to play in identifying needs and helping service users become involved in the design and delivery of services.

'Crucially, involving users, beneficiaries and communities is central to the way of working of the best organisations in the voluntary and community sector. It is not an "add-on" or separate to the main business of the sector, engagement is one of its defining features/ he told delegates.

'Many voluntary and community organisations have a strong track record in meeting people's actual, rather than perceived, needs and this is the quality that government should be working to utilise in reforming public services. …

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