Strategic commissioning

Ensuring a sound understanding of needs and a well-developed understanding and management of markets.
Strategy development and planning

We support commissioners to undertake needs assessments and develop commissioning plans that are outcomes focused.
  • Review and evaluate current costs and outcomes - this includes multiple stakeholder consultations & using social return on investment evaluation tools - see here
  • Coordinate and facilitate activities that support and promote community participation and co-production, including workshops, focus groups and networks
  • Development of outcomes pathways and associated metrics
  • Research and mapping current delivery to identify gaps and to inform (de)commissioning priorities
  • Strategy development and outcomes based specification that considers social value and localism
"Extremely insightful support, and we particular valued the robust challenge throughout. Great value for money, and a truly ethical approach throughout" Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council
Understanding and improving the effectiveness of supply markets is important for achieving policy objectives.

Partnership procurement

We help commissioners of public services to choose the best means of procurement that enables them to achieve their outcomes in the most efficient and cost effective way.

We support collaborative approaches to procurement and the development of strategic service delivery partnerships.

Feasibility studies/ business cases

To effectively plan for the future there is a need to better understand and evaluate the current situation – current outcomes and resources spent, to identify what has worked/ not worked, and what could be done better, fairly.

Feasibility studies help commissioners to identify, explore and appraise the various options, and provide the evidence needed and case for change.

This helps to inform policy and planning. We support clients to explore and appraise the option of developing a social investment partnership  and outcomes-based contracts for preventative services.

Task areas
  • Identify the needs and costs of the defined cohort over time
  • Options appraisal
  • Operational model and engagement strategy development
  • Development of the savings case and investment structures
  • Development and testing of outcomes metrics
  • Legal advice for contracts, risks and implementation options

Examples of children and young people's Social Investment Partnerships: The Department for Works and Pensions (DWP)
Innovative Social Investment Partnerships for Young People Not in Employment Education and Training (NEET)

  • London Borough of Tower Hamlets: Think Forward Social Impact Ltd, delivered by Tomorrow’s People, and supported by Private Equity Foundation
  • Greater Manchester: Triodos New Horizons, established by Triodos Bank and delivered by Greater Merseyside Connexions Partnership
  • Thames Valley: Energise Innovation, delivered by Adviza (former Connexions) Cardiff & Newport: 3SC Capitalise with delivery organisations Dyslexia Action and CfBT Trust
These partnerships have all been matched with social investment finance from the Government’s Big Society Capital.


Strategic service delivery partnerships

We believe that the magic happens at the local, community level – it is here that the biggest difference is made – where people support each other, where the volunteering ethos is strong, where there are shared values and beliefs, mutual support and trust.

Self-organised groups offer an alternative way of doing things, that is bottom up, and engaging with people at a local level through activity intended to help themselves and each other. At the local level, it is where alternative approaches are trialled and people have the chance to improve themselves by working together.

In this way, we support a plurality of organisations working together to deliver change - a balance of both small and big organisations – a duality, where there is the orderliness, professionalism and structure of large organisations balanced with the innovation, freedom and creativity of small organisations.

In this context we work with commissioners and leading local civil society organisations to develop new funding and delivery models that enable small and large organisations to work together to address local needs in a strategic service delivery partnership.

This may involve pipelining/ ring fencing workstreams, and enabling the local sector to plan and organise itself in readiness for the tendering process.

This work includes the following products and services:

  • Scoping workstreams
  • Planning
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Feasbility studies
  • Developing the governance structure, business plan and membership prospectus & associated organisational development support
  • Supply chain development
  • Interim programme management to ensure successful delivery
Product sample:
Developed three Social Impact Bonds for public sector commissioners in older people's, mental health and family and children sectors. 

Kai-zen supports personalisation in commissioning
"A Narrative for Person-Centred Coordinated Care", National Voices and Think Local Act Personal. Download the narrative here
Benefits of an outcomes approach
  • Improved understanding of how change happens
  • Keeps you focused and structured
  • Enables grassroots innovation in service delivery
  • Ensure structured and focused service delivery
  • Potential to attract social investment finance
Commissioning, Procurement, Contracting

Needs assessment

Strategic commissioning plan

Choice of best means of procurement

Personal budgets

Case study

Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council

Developed a business case looking at the option of outsourcing neighbourhood management to the local Voluntary and Community Sector.

"Extremely insightful support, and we particularly valued the robust challenge throughout. Great value for money, and a truly ethical approach throughout" Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council.

Why a social investment partnership?

  • Savings on contract management and procurement
  • Leveraging of external finance to fund the up front delivery of services
  • Payment for results and outcomes based commissioning
  • Social investors share the risk and reward
  • Increased social value through commissoning more services from the civil society sector
  • Enables investment in early intervention and prevention
See here for infographic on the state of play in the UK

Case study

Working with Wolverhampton Voluntary Sector Council, we are supporting  Wolverhampton City Council, the Clinicial Commissioning Group, Public Health, & the Hospital to transform services and make savings through a new strategic service delivery partnership with the local voluntary and community sector.

This involves refocusing resources from acute care to increased use of community-based services & prevention. Task areas include roundtables, focus groups, research, consultations and consortia development. To date we have developed a supply chain that aims to reduce A & E hospital admissions. We are currently supporting opportunities to increase social prescribing, reduce demand for hospital care by older people, and increase self-care/ management of long-term conditions.

Click here to find out more about our services:
Performance management
Organisational development
Supply chain development
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+44 (0) 7590 523 540
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