Policy proposals from the Legislative Theatre Funding & Commissioning event on 9th Dec

‘The Commissioning Cycle’, illustrates the mechanical, inaccessible, and cyclical nature of the current commissioning process.

On Wednesday 9th December, we hosted #GMLegislativeTheatre event on Funding & Commissioning. We explored some structural barriers and ideas when it comes to funding. 






Thank you for all your comments and engagement on social media. You can check them out #GMlegislativetheatre, and also see some of the reflection from our team member Matthew Kidd who ask ‘How do we invest more meaningful relationships with our communities rather than just wheeling them in and out at convenient points in the decision-making process for us?’

On 17 December, the actors, facilitators, and policy-makers are meeting to work through each of these proposals, moving towards specificity and action in order to implement as many as possible in the upcoming GM Homelessness Prevention Strategy. The Prevention Strategy draft will be shared for consultation in January 2021 ahead of implementation from March 2021, and the below proposals as well as the outcomes from the September event on multiple disadvantage will be integrated into the strategy.

Proposal 1: Co-Producing Commissioning 

  • Commissioners to have feedback loops from service users built into annual appraisals and funded as part of the programs
  • Inclusive commissioning: Commissioners and service users co-creating outcomes and targets together, via power-informed spaces (audience priority)
  • Bids developed by service providers and service users together: offer resources, training, support for this

Proposal 2: Re-Designing the Bidding Process 

  • Reduce procurement thresholds to enable localised support from community organisations. 
  • Informal sessions for smaller providers to dialogue with commissioners and support their applications (audience priority)
  • Create channels for commissioners to give feedback and ask for change from procurement officers: via theatre or other formats
  • Amplify failures/learning opportunities of programme so lessons are captured
‘The Commissioning Vision’ is an illustration of how these proposals will transform the commissioning process and its impacts.

Proposal 3: Collaborative Commissioning

1) Commissioning designed collaboratively rather than competitively.

  • Commissioners redesign process to focus on writing bids collaboratively with a range of stakeholders, rather than encouraging agencies and services to bid competitively against one another for contracts.
  • Invite cross-sector stakeholders to work in partnership to co-design a plan around the allocated funds and the outcome objectives attached to the funds. 

2) Cross Sector Project Planning and Funding

  • Planning and spending is developed between a consortium of commissioners, including health, housing, employment etc to create cross sector projects which better meet the needs of people in a holistic way, rather than compartmentalising and catagorising them by their problems.

3. Encourage more multi-agency partnerships in commissioned projects

  • Encourage larger organisations to work closely in partnership with smaller grassroots and community led organisations as a condition of funding. These partnerships should not be built around power dynamics, where the big organisation leads and the smaller charities support – these should be inclusive, cooperative, mutual benefit partnerships.
  • Effective collaboration is set as a core measurable success criteria for all commissioned projects.

Proposal 4: Funding for more housing 

1) Integrate the goal of building more housing into every commissioning process (and add funds to each commission dedicated to building new housing)

Special thanks to all our  facilitators and actors: Andy, Nadia, Pat, Stan, John,  Carl, Damo, Joe, Jova, Jules, Neil, Patrick and director Katy Rubin for making it all happen.

Artwork by Carmen Byrne