We would like to introduce an action research project which is being undertaken over the next 12 months.

BVSC Research, and the Institute for Community Research & Development at the University of Wolverhampton have secured funding from a grant-giving organisation, Fusion 21, to undertake some research into the Section 114 budgetary implications. The project has been developed in partnership with Birmingham City Council (BCC) and aims to support BCC and its partners to explore potential new ways of working. We are particularly interested in exploring challenges faced by our most vulnerable citizens and communities and those most likely to experience increased inequality and disadvantage as a result of Section 114 funding cuts.

Over the next 12 months, we hope to engage with colleagues from across BCC, the Voluntary, Community, Faith & Social Enterprise (VCFSE) sector, public sector partners, the private sector, and funders, to explore these challenges and to work together to develop a ‘proof of concept’ for a Birmingham Together Framework in two priority areas (identified through stakeholder interviews).

The research will take place across three phases:

  1. A rapid evidence and literature review: This will capture the current Birmingham context and identify examples of good practice or new ways of working in other local authority areas.  
  2. Stakeholder interviews taking place between July – October 2024 to explore current challenges and identify two priority areas to focus on when developing the proof of concept.
  3. A series of workshops during October 24 – January 25, with participants identified through the stakeholder interviews with particular interest in the two identified priority areas.

The outputs from the research will be:

  1. Proof of Concept - A Birmingham Together Framework: a visual representation and narrative report that explores new ways of cultural, tactical, and strategic cross-sector working in the identified priority areas.
  2. A practical set of actionable recommendations, informed by those who will be responsible for taking the framework forward.

Through this research we want to offer the space to think about solutions.  This action-oriented research is therefore focused on harnessing the collective knowledge, expertise and experience of stakeholders working across the city; co-producing potential solutions and new ways of working in a way that gives weight and validity to the ideas developed.

We will be inviting people to get involved in the research over the coming weeks and months. If you would like to know more, or you would like to be contacted to take part in the initial interviews, then please contact Sam Teo - [email protected]