CC LIVE: Author Nick Seddon says evidence of charities’ effectiveness is scant

Evidence measuring the performance and effectiveness of charities is “hard to come by”, author Nick Seddon told a Community Care LIVE debate on independent sector provision of social care yesterday.

Such a lack of accountability was an “anachronism” given voluntary sector provision of public services, he said. Seddon, who used to work for right-wing think-tank Civitas, recently wrote a critique of voluntary sector provision of public services saying charities that received more than 70% of their income from the state should lose their charitable status.

Speaking at the same session, Joyce Moseley, chief executive at young people’s charity Rainer, agreed charities needed to provide evidence of their effectiveness.

“If charities do not deliver what service users need, then their existence needs to be queried. There is an element in the voluntary sector of feeling we have a God-given right to be here, and that’s not right,” she claimed.

However, Moseley criticised public service contracts for being bureaucratic and focused on process rather than outcomes.

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