Chapter 7 - How The Plan will be Delivered

Ch. 7 Contents
Proposed Structure


The ability of the programme to deliver the strategy set out in our Delivery Plan will ultimately determine the level of success the Partnership achieves. Regeneration initiatives are often able to demonstrate good strategies and plans but fail when it comes to effective management or delivery. It is critical therefore that the delivery structures we establish are able to ensure efficient, quality implementation of agreed actions with an effective means of monitoring evaluating and controlling delivery.

Alongside the practical functions of efficient delivery is the method by which it is achieved. Our delivery mechanism has to reflect the principles of the programme and contribute to the long-term sustainability of regeneration in the area. Central to this is the involvement and engagement of local people in the management and operations of the delivery structure. Our delivery structure has been designed to reflect the needs of the programme, the needs and capacity of the community and the increasing role and ownership it will play in the evolution of the programme.

The Devonport NDC programme requires a delivery structure that enables those responsible for managing the programme, at all levels, to have much greater control over the actions taken in its name and full control over expenditure. Evolution from the development phase of the programme to implementation is a significant one. The disciplines and functions of delivery are substantially different to those of planning. It is necessary to consider what type of structure is best suited to our purpose and how that relates to the organisation we currently have in place.

Developing the Delivery Structure
The delivery structure is not an end in itself. It is a means to an end and its design should be based on the functions it has to undertake. Underpinning the structure is a set of core values which reflect the views of the partnership. These values should clearly demonstrate how the partnership wishes to do business within itself and with others and how it will be held accountable. These values need to be determined by discussion within the partnership, as it evolves, but will consist of issues such as:-

. Transparency of operation and decision making
. Legitimacy of representation
. Competency of participation
. Equality of involvement

The structure will need to be able to provide the following:-

. Clarity of purpose for the programme and its objectives
. A means of taking a strategic overview
. A way of deciding what will be done and what should be achieved -scale, quality and efficiency
. Checks and balances
. Accountability to government and directly to local residents
. Legitimacy in terms of participation
. Responsibility- making sure things are actually done.

The Proposed Structure - Roles and Responsibilities

Roles and Responsibilities
The delivery structure has been designed on the basis that form follows function. The proposed roles and responsibilities of each part of the structure are set out below.

The Board
The Board will act as the strategic body responsible for the programme. Its core functions are:-
- Strategic decision making, programme direction and the approval of key planning documents such as delivery plans
- Programme scrutiny to assess progress against objectives and outcomes and the continued relevance of the programme
- Final programme and project approval following option appraisal prior to expenditure
- Manage key external relationships to the forum, other partnerships and Government
- Management responsibilities for the staff team

The Board will not be involved in day to day operational management butmust be able to maintain a distance for the purposes of scrutiny and objective decision making. As a body the Board is likely to be established as a Devonport Regeneration Company (DRC) -a company limited by guarantee. This company exists currently as a Shadow Board and is in the process of drawing up a formal constitution and putting in place structures which can oversee and deliver regeneration programmes in the Devonport area for the foreseeable future and beyond the 10 years of NDC.

The Shadow Board currently comprises a majority of local residents including the Devonport 5 (drawn from across the neighbourhood), a faith group representative and representatives from the black and ethnic minority communities. The Board includes 3 City Councillors, two local business people, representatives from SW RDA, the Princes Foundation, Devon and Cornwall Police, South West Devon Health Authority and GOSW.

Accountable Body
The City Council has agreed to continue to act as accountable body in respect of the delivery of NDC for as long as the Devonport Regeneration Company wishes it to play that role. The City has also been responsible, working closely with local people, for recruiting staff. It is acknowledged, however, that in formulating a constitution the Company may wish to establish independent systems and take on that role. In the meantime the City Council's Head of Finance will have Section 151 responsibility and ensure financial propriety and accountability in the same way as is provided for Plymouth SRB Partnership Ltd.

Operational Focus Groups
Below the Board there is a mechanism that takes the themes of the programme and key areas of activity and begins to determine specific projects, programmes and actions. That is, to reach a view on the specific definition, or brief, for projects and programmes. In other words to determine:-

. what needs to be done
. the options for getting it done
. what scale and scope of action is appropriate
. the outputs and impact required
. the nature and quality of delivery required

The operational focus groups will also have a role in option appraisal, although the staff team will in practice be responsible for this process.

By using the operational focus groups to define activity this mechanism moves away from a bi and deliver approach to one that has a greater level of contract specification. As such we expect to be able to increase the level of integration and coherence in programme activity by using "contract specifications" to force a greater degree of collaboration into the local market place for delivery. Once specifications have been agreed the projects and programmes can, where appropriate, be offered to the "market place" to seek delivery proposals. Once projects are "contracted" the operational group plays a direct role in monitoring and evaluation of project delivery with project deliverers directly accountable to the relevant operational group.

The structure of these operational groups, and participation in them, may differ over time and according to the area of responsibility. The basic premise is that they are community led and chaired to ensure service delivery accountable to local people and that relevant organisations and individuals are involved to provide an informal or expert view.

The operational focus groups will be based initially on the existing six Focus Groups used in the development of the Delivery Plan. The relevance of the current Focus Group structure will be tested and examined as the programme becomes operational. It is expected to evolve to improve management and impact over the course of programme and to recognise more completely the cross-cutting nature of so many of the core problems experienced in Devonport.

The current Focus Groups are:
1. Employment, Education, Training and Business Support
2. Health, Social Issues, Community and Leisure
3. Physical Environment including Housing
4. Crime and Community Safety
5. Youth
6. Neighbourhood Management

Staff Team
The staff team is essential in ensuring the smooth running of the whole delivery structure. It will take day to day responsibility for the programme, ensuring that each part of the structure is able to operate in its own right and that the whole of the delivery is integrated, co-ordinated and effective. The staff team will have the following key responsibilities:-

- Professional and technical advice to the Board, to the operational focus groups and to the fora
- To provide effective direct support for, and linkages between, the operational groups to ensure coherence and integration
- Procedural guidance and the establishment of robust systems for project management and for public and community accountability
- Financial accounting and management, scrutiny and diligence
- Technical monitoring and evaluation systems and procedures
- Option appraisal
- Formal reporting to the Board, Government and operational groups
- Managing the relationships with external bodies to ensure maximum input and commitment to the programme including public, private, community and voluntary sectors

Providing both direct input to the partnership and the operational focus groups it is proposed to establish four individual forum in respect of:-

. The community as a whole
. Youth
. Ethnic minorities
. Business

The constitution and terms of reference for each forum will be determined during the development stages and with the forum membership. It is expected that they will include the following;-

- Nomination of representatives to the Partnership Board and operational focus groups
- Monitoring of programme activity, service delivery and regeneration impact within Devonport
- Respond to and comment on Partnership Board papers and the Annual Delivery Plan
- Facilitate consultation on specific and generic issues concerning the programme
- Contribute towards the preparation of a community engagement strategy

The establishment and development of the Fora will take a high priority during Year 1 of the programme.

Monitoring and Evaluation Framework
Evaluation is a critical component of the regeneration process. Whilst all publicly funded economic development programmes -including New Deal for Communities -are subject to designated monitoring systems and procedures our process of evaluation should seek to go beyond this. In practice, the formal evaluation process will attempt to go beyond official monitoring requirements in order to assess the wider impact and value of the activities being delivered.

This is a critical tenet of the DETR's recently published Good Practice Guide in Local Evaluation for Regeneration Partnerships, and one that we believe accords very closely with our own desire to make a lasting change to our neighbourhood.

Effective monitoring and evaluation are key management tools and should be organised in such as way as to contribute to the evolution of the programme in a formative way.

Our approach to monitoring and evaluation will adopt the following priorities:-

- the importance of ensuring that evaluation makes timely contributions to the delivery plan; evaluation needs to be phased into key milestones within the delivery programme as a whole

- results from evaluation should support partners in making their decisions about both the broad strategic direction of NDC and the role of individual schemes and programmes in sustaining that strategy

- evaluation will be 'user-friendly'; the model to be adopted is one based on mutual trust, a shared understanding of where the strategy has come from and where partners want it to go


Project level monitoring
It is clearly important for the base monitoring information to be embedded in our system. Project specification and approval processes will define at the outset of projects the expected expenditure patterns, outputs, milestones and outcomes. These will form the basis of formal reporting between the project and the staff team and accountability procedures to the operational focus groups

Ethnic minority monitoring
Special monitoring arrangements will be put in place to ensure that those individual projects targeted at ethnic minorities are separately tracked and monitored, together with monitoring of the impact on ethnic minorities of the overall programmes.

Programme level monitoring
T o ensure that we and Government Office for the South West understand how the programme as a whole is performing, the Partnership will undertake the following assessment and reporting processes:

- Twice yearly annual reporting summarising progress towards all agreed expenditure, outputs, milestones and outcomes

- Performance Reviews -the Partnership will undertake two performance reviews. The first will be a mid-year review which will be led by the Partnership and forms one of the key elements of programme management. This review will look at progress against planned delivery, milestones and key outcomes and will result in a short report to Government Office. (In practice the Partnership Board may choose to undertake these formal reviews on a more regular basis).

The second, an Annual Review, will take place at the end of the first year. It will encompass both the review of activity to date, set against plans made, and the proposed rolling forward of the programme over the next three year and 12 month periods. This Annual Review will be undertaken formally with representatives from Government Office.

Our approach to evaluation is threefold:-

1. Formative evaluation -on-going collection of information and data using local as well as external organisations to continually inform the management process and direction of the programme

2. Democratic Evaluation -recognising that those involved in delivering the programme, or as beneficiaries, should be most critical of its performance and by seeking their views strive to attain continuous improvement. The delivery structure will be used to promote active and continuous evaluation of activity.

3. External comparative evaluation -the objectivity of an external agency undertaking regular periodic evaluation of performance and impact locally,against our baseline and as compared to other areas, is recognised to be of key value and is a further layer of evaluation we will wish to consider.

Training Plan
It is recognised that the NDC programme will need to entail substantial training for all those involved in the delivery structure. In particular, working with others, managing the process, internal and external communication, building the Partnership, project appraisal, monitoring and evaluation.

These three approaches together will, we believe, provide a robust framework which will enable the management of our programme to be as effective as possible. It will, at the same time, provide Government with an accurate understanding of the progress we have made. In designing the detail of the framework we will wish to ensure that this is not only configured around the agreed local Delivery Plan but also is able to reflect the plans and priorities of national evaluation procedures.

A key part of the formative evaluation approach will be to establish a means of tracking the progress of targeted groups of people within the Devonport community over the course of the programme. The detail of this will be determined during the first stages ofour programme delivery but may include:-

- Tracking young people resident in the area and their social and economic progress
- Tracking the progress of minority groups within the area and their economic and social progress
- Tracking community involvement and engagement throughout and across the NDC programme.

Chapters ...
1. Forward, Summary; Vision
2. Devonport - Our neighbourhood
3. Devonport - The Present
4. Devonport - The Future
5. Devonport - The Plans
6. The Forward Strategy
7. How the Plan will be Delivered