As we explore building back better after the pandemic, we are thinking a lot about readdressing power imbalances and about diversity, equity, and inclusion. If we are to do this well, centering the voices of those with lived experience in our work is vital.

But now is the time to drive this work forward. We want to see a charity sector where:

  1. Lived expertise and professional expertise are valued equally and are used alongside impact data and information about the wider system to inform strategic and operational decisions, at all levels.
  2. Genuine co-creation and co-production is facilitated by true power sharing within and between organisations and supported by effective decision-making and governance processes.
  3. There is a good understanding of the purpose and benefits of including those with lived experience in decision-making, and consequently, there is a desire to do this well across charities and funders.
  4. Organisations have a strong understanding of what good involvement practice looks like for their organisation and are committed to implementing this to a high standard.
  5. Boards take an evidence-led approach to decision-making—which includes lived experience, alongside professional expertise, impact data and information about the external environment.

Meaningful user involvement is a journey. Re-balancing decision-making power requires a deep culture shift. We want to help charities and funders create buy-in to do this properly and meaningfully across their organisations; and to feel more confident about embarking on this journey by being better equipped with ideas, guidance and tools, and by hearing the experiences of those who have done it. We also want to support funders to enable good practice on involvement where they can.

Read the full article about power dynamics in the philanthropy sector by Charlotte Lamb at NPC.