‘It’s not what we do, it’s how we do it’: managing the tension between service delivery and advocacy
Cairns, Ben; Hutchison, Romayne; Aiken, Mike (2010)

This paper describes and discusses the dilemmas for voluntary and community organisations (VCOs) in carrying out the twin roles of delivering services and acting as advocates for their client groups and other stakeholders. It draws on a study of a particular subsector of VCOs, namely
‘multi-purpose community-based organisations’ or ‘community anchor organisations’, which explored the challenges that they experience in acting as both advocates and service providers. The paper concludes by discussing the factors that may explain the ability of these organisations to manage
or avoid the tensions between advocacy and service delivery and the implications of the study findings for the wider voluntary sector.

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