Like many I keep hearing or reading about how the pandemic we’ve all lived with for the past 18 months has fostered different and sometimes even better partnerships within and across sectors. As we recover from the covid-19 crisis we must spend time to learn from the impact of these partnerships.  

Real collaboration is hard to find and implement so what can we learn? What lies underneath a successful partnership? Why is it so difficult to achieve at times? How can we share learning better? These are some of the questions SCVO is keen to explore in the coming months, both through our Strengthening Collaboration work with Scottish Government/COSLA and more widely.

Greater collaboration will help us build back better but it is not easy; if it were, we would not be discussing it today. As an organisation we are keen to learn and share more from work happening within and across sectors, including long-term partnerships that voluntary organisations enjoy with the private sector. A few of our webinars over the past year focused on collaboration and working together better, highlighting the topics of employability or charity mergers for example.

This autumn, working together with Evaluation Support Scotland, we are hoping to gather more examples of partnership working between the voluntary and the public sector and learn from them. As a starting point, we are holding a joint eventWorking Together Better,on Thursday 2nd September (10-12pm),for any third sector organisation and their public sector partner interested in understanding and learning about the impact of their partnerships during the Covid-19 crisis.We hope this project will encourage participants to reflect on how they work with each other, and how to use that learning in the future.

I know that working better together is key to tackle current and future challenges. But I am also aware that building trust and relationships takes time and effort, and that we each have a role to play individually. I for one need to consider and perhaps change the way I work with others in order to facilitate greater partnership working, including within SCVO.  Now is the right time to discuss, learn and share our experiences of the pandemic and use this knowledge to support people across Scotland.