The principle of service user involvement in decisions that affect them is w generally supported. However, many voluntary organisations remain under scrutiny because implementation has t been as quick or extensive as some would like, especially members of the user movement. This report explores the processes of change in eleven voluntary organisations to draw out lessons relevant to the wider sector. The report is based on an action research project which involved service users, managers, staff and trustees. It identifies enablers of and barriers to increased user involvement. It also describes emerging approaches and important themes. It will help practitioners, managers and trustees plot their own journeys towards increased user involvement.
Paul Robson is Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for Institutional Studies, University of East London and a freelance consultant. He specialises in research and development work with voluntary organisations. Nasa Begum is a policy officer for a national voluntary organisation. She has a background in social work, policy, training, user involvement and equalities work. Michael Locke is Reader and Director of the Centre for Institutional Studies, University of East London. He has taught, researched and written on issues of voluntary and community action and organisation for over 20 years.