Last August, SCVO’s Chief Executive Anna Fowlie called on the voluntary sector to embrace Scotland’s National Performance Framework (NPF). Referring to it as a ‘beacon of hope’, she explained that the framework must be more than an aspirational rallying call. We must measure our services, whatever sector they are in, against its outcomes.
The NPF – which consists of a national purpose, values which guide the approach, and 11 outcomes that describe the kind of Scotland it aims to create – was refreshed in 2018. Since then, it has been presented as a performance framework for all of Scotland and not just for the government; this includes the voluntary sector.
The NPF can help demonstrate the sector’s contribution to Scotland’s grand challenges. Some organisations are already using the NPF to shape services and dialogue with public sector colleagues. AnEvaluation Support Scotland (ESS) event held in June revealed some of the smart ideas about how the voluntary sector can take this further to help make the NPF a reality.
But we know that we have more to do and that we can better utilise the NPF in our work. Steven Marwick – Director of ESS – recently spoke of the need for all of us involved in public services (whatever our sector) to start with the NPF and, if other frameworks are also needed, link them to the NPF to join things up.
This February, ESS, SCVO and the Scottish Government are coming together to host an interactive workshop for voluntary organisations to reflect on whether they are already embedding the NPF in their work. And, if not, to explore how they might use the NPF to support their organisational objectives.
We’ll share and discuss examples of where the sector and other organisations are contributing to Scotland’s National Outcomes. ESS have captured case studies from a number of voluntary organisations who have used the NPF. Befriending Networks recently used the NPF when considering applying for new funding. The Scottish SPCA used the NPF as a vital tool in setting out their 2020 business plan. The Scottish Youth Theatre Arts Scotland and its members have been considering how they can collectively improve evidencing the impact of their work on non-arts priorities for Scotland. We’ll also hear from the Scottish Football Association on their efforts to utilise the NPF.
Along the way, we’ll also identify any barriers to voluntary sector engagement with the NPF and hopefully some solutions for overcoming them.