This page provides answers to a range of questions that members may have following the announcement of the 15th February 2016 called ‘The DAA: a coming of age’. Questions are split into three sections:
Why this is happening.
What this means in practice.
What the future holds
Why this is happening.
1. Why are ODI not continuing to deliver the secretariat?
As a network set up to make a practical difference to disabled people’s participation through collaboration across sectors, it makes sense for the DAA to be delivered by disabled people rather than government. Whilst ODI played an important role in setting up and building the DAA, the DAA has evolved such that is now ready for disabled people to hold the reins and drive it forward.
However ODI remains committed to the DAA. It will remain an active member of the Steering Group and has provided a 1 year grant to fund the next stage of the development of the DAA and its long-term strategy. The ODI understands the value of the DAA and will work with the rest of the steering group and other members to drive the alliance towards a solid long-term strategy.
2. Why did DRUK receive the grant instead of there being an open tendering competition?
The DAA Steering Group and ODI considered a number of options as to how a grant designed to progress work on the DAA’s long-term strategy. It was felt an organisation within the group would be best placed for the following reasons they would already have a working knowledge of the DAA and its journey so far; given the short time frame for this grant, this was an important consideration. In addition it was felt that ensuring that disabled people themselves would be delivering this work was key. As both a DPULO and the DAA chair’s organisation, the Steering Group decided that DRUK, working in partnership with the Steering Group, was uniquely placed to receive the grant.
3. Isn’t this another example of DR UK being too close to government?
Absolutely not. Though government was the mechanism through which the DAA was born, the DAA is and remains independent of government. DRUK is one of many non-government organisations that have subsequently supported the birth and growth of the DAA. Their taking on the grant and delivery of the DAA for the forthcoming year will support the DAA to place disabled people at the heart of the DAA’s delivery, and is reflective of their unique position as chair on the Steering Group. Disability Rights UK is an organisation led and controlled by disabled people and speaks out strongly in campaigning. The DAA is about collaborative work for practical results, rather than campaigning, but Disability Rights UK also campaigns vigorously for change.
4. Does this mean DPULOs’ routes to influencing policy will be taken away?
No. The DAA is and remains a non-lobbying alliance, focused on taking action of a non-political nature. Any influence on government policy made through the DAA has been through working collaboratively with policy officials, and this change does not alter this.
DPULOs and other voluntary sector organisations have the opportunity to influence government policy makers through a number alternative routes, including the Fulfilling Potential Forum and government consultations.
What this means in practice.
5. From what date will DRUK be delivering the secretariat function?
DRUK will deliver fully the secretariat function of the DAA from April 2016, though there will be a transferal period in March.
6. Will my organisation still be able to remain a member of the DAA?
Yes, of course. We hope that all member organisations will want to continue to be members and welcome any suggestions members might have about how the DAA develops going forward.
7. What will happen to member contact details?
Information about member organisations that is in the public domain will be transferred to DRUK in March. The process for transferring an individual’s contact details from the team based in the Office for Disability Issues to the team in DRUK is currently under development to ensure that all information is handled with the utmost security. Individuals will be approached to provide consent for their contact details to be transferred in the near future.
8. What will these changes mean for members?
There are two parts to this announcement. The first is that a long-term strategy is under development for the DAA. Information gathered through consultation with the wider DAA membership will inform any future changes to the way that the alliance works later down the line. However it is currently envisioned that any changes would enable greater partnership building at a grassroots level, offing more members the opportunity to capitalise on the DAA network.
The second part is with regards the change of secretariat team. For changes resulting from this, please see questions 4, 6 and 7.
9. What will happen to projects going forward?
Until now the DAA’s projects have been centrally run, with much input from the secretariat team and the majority of the projects being led by members of the Steering Group. From March the secretariat will not be involved in delivering projects; instead project leads will be in contact with their project members directly to take work forward.
Longer-term the Steering Group will re-assess the DAA’s current project model, based on our experience so far and successes. Key factors in this thinking are:
- Overcoming the limitations of the current centralised model, to enable all interested members to get involved in such work.
- Learning from several projects that are now evolving in interesting ways that allow greater participation by moving towards models requiring little/no central support; three case studies are available.
- Capitalise on projects that have already had great successes, and still have lots of room to grow as a result of cross-sector collaboration.
Member views in this area will be integral to the direction of the long-term strategy. Please do look out for opportunities to feed in over March-May.
10. What will happen to networks going forward?
Though the current website has some pages dedicated to DAA networks, we are aware that more could be done to make better use of the web platform to facilitate communication between network members. As part of the long-term strategy, changes to the DAA website are being considered. Key to this thinking is the idea of better enabling online communications and making communities of practice a reality for members. We envisage the new communities of practice will offer increased opportunities for member organisations to share good practice and build partnerships across sectors by identifying similar core-business interests/organisational aims.
This is another area where feedback from members will be integral to ensuring that the DAA offers what members most prize. As such, we will be seeking views. Please do look out for opportunities to feed in over March-May.
11. Will members still receive a monthly newsletter?
It is still the intention that the monthly newsletter will continue. We will inform you if this changes.
12. Will members still be able to share news and event information on the DAA website?
DRUK will continue to maintain the DAA website post March 2016, however work is taking place to develop a new website which makes it easier for members to build/foster partnerships and communities of practice, which will include sharing good practice.
What the future holds.
13. Will there be opportunities for DAA members to take on the DAA delivery after the current grant runs out?
This is unknown as yet. The on-going running of the DAA and future funding streams will be examined as part of the long-term strategy. More information on this will be released as the strategy develops.
14. How will the DAA wider membership be consulted as the long-term strategy is developed?
DAA members will be contacted by email and twitter to contribute ideas to help the development of a new long-term strategy. Notifications will also appear in the news page and the ‘DAA’s coming of age’ page, with links to surveys or contact details to send information through to.
We really encourage members to input into this – this is a really opportunity for members to help shape the evolution of the DAA. The intention is to ensure that the DAA works as effectively as possible for its members. We hope to hold an event for interested members as well.
15. The statement talks about the need for long-term sustainability. Is the DAA at risk of closing?
No. The focus on the long-term sustainability of the DAA is in recognition that the DAA is valuable. It is therefore worth ensuring that it can continue to grow in both size and impact whilst taking into consideration the impact of growth on the organisation delivering the DAA at that point.
16. Will the changes offer any opportunities to join the Steering Group?
The membership of the Steering Group will be reviewed during 2016 as work on the strategy evolves. Please do look out for more information over the coming months.
If you have any queries which are not included above please do contact us on the email address below, as this stage of DAA development is emerging and we will be adding to this Q & A as this progresses. FULFILLING.POTENTIAL@DWP.GSI.GOV.UK