by Bryan Collis
The ongoing effects of the economic downturn are of interest to policy makers and researchers. Attempts to understand trends have been hampered by incomplete data from previous downturns or recessions and the differences between sub sectors within the wider third sector (Wilding 2008, 2010). The best available evidence has become the result of current surveys (eg Hirst et al, NCVO 2010)
Since February 2009 WCVA has conducted five surveys of third sector organisations in Wales. Based on a convenience sample of 6,500 or so organisations from WCVA’s database of over 29,000 contacts within the sector in Wales, between 500 and 700 responses have been received in each survey. The responses are not quantitatively representative of the whole of the third sector, but do include sports groups, faith groups and community organisations as well as the larger, staffed organisations. They have enabled WCVA to estimate the effects of the recession in terms of redundancies, organisations having funding difficulties and organisations that are adapting. The paper will present the trends over the five surveys and will also present a longitudinal analysis of a number of types of organisations.
The advent of the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government in Westminster contrasting with the Labour-Plaid coalition government in the Welsh Assembly appears to be resulting in different public sector financial planning assumptions in England and Wales. The Welsh Assembly has predicted a 3 per cent cut, compared to much higher predictions for the UK as a whole (BBC Wales 2010). The findings of the Welsh survey will be compared with available data from England to see if the policy differences are reflected in the attitudes and experiences of organisations in the two nations.
Bryan Collis’ presentation is available here (Powerpoint format).