The Third Sector is made up of a diverse group of organisations which are flexible, people focused and well connected. They often deliver uniquely tailored and niche solutions within a community, focusing on its specific needs. At a strategic level the Third Sector is often referred to collectively, inadvertently overlooking the vast and unique differences between organisations within the Sector.
This strand aims to support the Third Sector in developing and sharing a collective identity, yet celebrating and acknowledging the advantages of its diversity and its reach. The contribution of the Third Sector to the City should be acknowledged and promoted to partners.
Within this context the Compact Partnership must become the bridge for the City-facilitating information exchange between partnerships, sectors, within the Sector and with all citizens of Edinburgh. Confident in the knowledge that the Third Sector is understood, Voluntary Organisations will be better at working co-productively and sustainably with the Public Sector.
- The social and economic contribution of the Third Sector in Edinburgh is understood and utilised
- Active citizenship in Edinburgh thrives
- The Third Sector becomes more resilient through growing enterprising activity
- There is strong, dynamic and creative leadership and entrepreneurship in the Third Sector
- The Third Sector is sustainable long term career option and leads on fair and innovative employment practice
Drivers for this strand
The Third Sector’s contribution to Edinburgh needs to be further communicated to the different Sectors and citizens of Edinburgh. It has recently been highlighted in the CEC’s Edinburgh by Numbers publication and EVOC’s Year of Reckoning publication but further work needs to be done to illustrate the value of the Third Sector, demonstrating its ability to work alongside the Public Sector. Showing the value of the Third Sector has long been an issue and ways of representing this and promoting this, which will increase understanding of and confidence in the Third Sector need to be addressed.
Strong leadership needs to be continually developed in all Sector’s and the Third Sector is no exception. Training and other forms of professional development within the Sector and across the different sectors of the City need to be developed. There is a recognition within the Sector that an expectation of collaboration one moment and being in competition the next can create complex relationships in the Sector and can lead to protectionism and mistrust. Organisations believe in collaboration, but want to focus on collaboration for the greater good not just collaborating for funding.
As an employer the Third Sector is seen positively: it wants to pay the living wage and wants to increase the length of contracts, increasing stability for employees and reducing the knowledge drain of personal and intellectual capital through excessive staff turnover.
Social Enterprises and Volunteering
Both the Social Enterprise Strategy and the Volunteering Strategy sit within the framework of the Compact Strategic Framework but maintain their own identity with specific implementation groups overseeing implementation and progress reporting.
The Social Enterprise Strategy and the Volunteering Strategy will conclude in the lifetime of this new Compact Partnership Strategy and will be reviewed as identified in this Action Plan. Next steps will take account of wider action around active citizenship and encouraging enterprise and entrepreneurship by Third Sector leaders and management boards and which reflect the changes in the City, the needs of citizens and the future environment.