National Centre for Independent Action

We are not an arm of the state. We have our own arms.

Managing Independence
NCIA campaign work

This is a list of the work currently underway, being developed, to support our campaign aims on Managing Independence. Contact us if you want to know more or be involved.

The purpose of our work is twofold:

– to raise awareness of the damaging effects of managerialism
– to encourage alternatives models of management, providing the support required to put these into practice.

Building a network for action & support

We know how difficult it is to resist and challenge the pressures of managerialism and private sector ideologies. We also scratch our heads wondering how to turn things around. So – spreading the word, awareness raising, getting together, sparking ideas, doing things together and knowing we’re not alone makes all the difference.

In February 2010 a group of practitioners, activists and academics met to see what they could do together. Many more people wanted to be involved. This group, currently numbering just under 50 people, provides us with the beginning of a network for action and support. Information about NCIA campaign work and action taken by others will be shared with this network. Opportunities for joint action will be identified. Periodic meetings, particularly on a regional or local basis, will be arranged.

Resources for action

We want to provide some practical resources to help people manage independently, and fight managerialism. The network discussions will hopefully provide such practical resources, which can be made available to others. The idea of a resistance toolkit has been suggested. Other resources currently being devised are:

– a NCIA leaflet, setting out the problems with current management practices and the alternatives to put in place. The leaflet can be used to spark debate and raise awareness, as a rallying call to action and to give ideas for action. The leaflet will shortly be available on the NCIA website.

– a critical research facility, including setting up a network of critical researchers/academics, to provide evidence about the harmful effects of managerialism and for alternative models for managing voluntary and community action;

– a series of seminars during 2010 – of academics and practitioners – which amongst other aspects of voluntary action will explore alternatives to managerialism (jointly with Roehampton University). Papers arising from the seminars will be available on the NCIA website;

stories of resistance and alternatives to inspire and demonstrate what can be done – we will act as a store house for good news stories about effective ways to manage voluntary and community action. The stories will be posted on the NCIA website and shared amongst network participants;

– independence audits – it might be a surprise to see the Coalition using a managerial tool such as an audit, but we reckoned there is nothing like using the enemies tools against them. We will be developing a means by which voluntary and community groups can check whether or not they are actually independent in practice. This can be used internally or by asking a Coalition person to carry out an external audit, to provide a more challenging ingredient. We’ll also use the audit criteria to hold voluntary organisations accountable in their claims to be independent.

Working with others

NCIA is a supporter of a new campaign to tackle wage differentials within voluntary agencies and get back to greater equity in wage structures
We will be working closely with Just Wage.

We will also be developing relationships with unions and their members who are sympathetic to NCIA perspectives – by sharing information and sparking and participating in national and workplace debates and action.

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