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Refocusing mainstream resources

Mainstreaming is a means by which Community Planning Partnerships can take account of and reflect the needs of disadvantaged or excluded groups within established policy making and service delivery, rather than through supplementary strategies or budgets. Mainstreaming can mean one of two approaches…

  • To integrate a project or programme into the mainstream budget and provision of an established service
  • To bend the spend or activity of an established service so that it meets a wider range of outcomes.

Tapping into mainstream resources can have the following benefits

  • It can help to ensure the long term sustainability of programmes, projects and interventions aimed at tackling poverty and employability.
  • It can allow projects to work over a longer period giving them the time and opportunity to bed in and really make a difference.
  • It can help community planning partnerships and other organisations move on from short term, project based work that may be dependant on external sources of grant funding.
  • It can preserve the knowledge, skill and evidence base that has been built up by successful projects and programmes.

If you are considering integrating a project or programme into an established service the following questions may be useful for you to reflect on.

  • What is the current resource allocation to the project?
  • What resources are available for the continuation of the project?
  • How well does the project "fit" with the outcomes set out in the CPPs Single Outcome Agreement?
  • What is the evidence of need/ demand for the project?
  • What is the evidence of future demand?
  • What is the likely impact of the closure of this project / removal of funding? In particular is the closure of this project likely to have a particular impact on particular group or community?
  • How well has the project performed against its targets?
  • What value for money does the project offer? (ratio of inputs to outputs / outcomes) What is its value for money relative to alternative interventions that could deliver similar outcomes?
  • What links does the project have to existing services? Does the project provide unique services in an area- for example support to women who have suffered domestic abuse.
  • What are the costs associated with the closure of a project? (for example redundancy costs, pension liabilities).
  • Does the project operate on an early intervention/ prevention model, acting to reduce demand on other services?
  • Does the project have an innovative approach to service delivery?

On this page you can also access a document on refocusing mainstream resources written by the Improvement Service.

"We believe this is necessary to increase local autonomy, flexibility, and the pace of progress in tackling high levels of multiple deprivation in our communities. Community planning partners need to come together with communities themselves to tackle this persistent challenge using the combined power and influence of all mainstream budgets and resources." Equal Communities in a Fairer Scotland