NCVO challenges Capacitybuilders' strategic plan

Capacitybuilders is moving substantially away from its mission of improving the sector's infrastructure support, the NCVO claims in its response to Capacitybuilders' strategic plan, which was published for consultation last week.

The NCVO argues that Capacitybuilders is trying to do too much and has become too closely alligned with Government priorities.

The Capacitybuilders plan, Destination 2014, outlines five key objectives, including improving infrastructure support for the sector and encouraging investment in infrastructure.

It also says Capacitybuilders should work with Government and funders to improve the landscape for the sector and engage with local government.

Ben Kernighan, deputy chief executive of the NCVO, questioned this additional objective: "Capacitybuilders has a major challenge in implementing ChangeUp, and that should be the focus of its strategy."

The NCVO calls for Capacitybuilders to "seek agreement" with the sector about what its priorities should be.

The NCVO also attacks a new Capacitybuilders' performance indicator that 40 per cent of sector infrastructure bodies should be involved in promoting service delivery in government priority areas. "It is not and should not be the role of sector infrastructure bodies to promote government policy," the briefing reads. "This would suggest a serious failure to recognise the sector's independence."

Last year, the NCVO strongly opposed Capacitybuilders' decision to abolish national hubs of expertise - the umbrella body is involved with four of them - claiming it would give the Government more control of the ChangeUp programme.

Simon Hebditch, chief executive of Capacitybuilders, said: "We are happy for the debate to evolve."

Capacitybuilders is consulting on the strategic plan until the end of March.

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