ECN Strategic Plan and Priorities

As the Trusted Voice of the Third Sector in Ealing, ECN has put together a set of clearly defined strategic objectives which was approved at the ECN General Meeting on 30 June 2021

ECN Strategic Plan   

Click the link above to download a copy of the plan

Activity Engage Diagnosis Pilot Outcome Outputs
Offer Engage and clarify the role and relevance a community network brings Limited membership

Lack of clarity about offer


Small, sided focus groups exploring topics such as future Gazing.

‘Theory of change’

More inclusive focused offer to benefit the voluntary and community sector and ensure its relevance Clear Offer – ensuring members and partners know what to expect from ECN
Performance Discuss the outputs and performance targets expected by the members of ECN Service delivery plan imposed by the local authority Review ways of working in partnership and with funders More clarity supporting the purpose and delivery of ECN tailored to its members aspirations Clear set of performance expectations in place to create narrative of ECN
Partnerships Reach out to all partners and potential partners See ‘offer’ clarify partnership’s status.

Re-establish with key partners and identify new partnerships

Research all potential partners – identify representatives create process for election and quality of nominees Detailed partnership arrangements, heads of terms, compacts


Member of partnerships finalised
Roles and responsibilities Chair, exec, members

Other organisations and strategic bodies


Lack of clarity – leading to misunderstanding miscommunication Hold small round tables with various sector partnerships Clarity for all partners about ECN’s offer and its role and responsibilities A clear list of roles and responsibilities for each partnership
Governance Discuss initially steps required to be an independent body and expectations of executive being the board.

ECN is currently a ‘project’ of SCA.

Needs to be independent to fully deliver its offer and function Establish a shadow board to explore types of organisation An independent voice for the third sector free from association with a ‘holding body’  An independent body able to receive funding and attract funding.
Simplify procedures to ensure fit for purpose criteria Current working practices timing and resources need reviewing to ensure fit for purpose reflecting size of organisation Work as an executive board to review working practices More efficient effective processes that meet the needs of the organisation Procedures reviewed and in place
Representatives Skills assessment in terms of training needs for executive Limited understanding of role of ECN

Balance conflict of interest. Create a role profile for representatives.

Include training assessment

Skills assessment leading to training and swot analysis A highly skilled executive able to represent the views of the sector. The ability to understand the nuances of the various partnerships and bodies we sit on A ?-person executive committee skilled at representing the whole third sectors views
Influencing With strategic partners to embed participation as the third sector voice Limited understanding of role of the third sector. Lack of input in key decision making by strategic authorities Set up, meetings with strategic partners to aid understanding of benefits and role of third sector Third sector has place at heart of planning and decision making for the borough Third sector representation in CCG and local authority planning and decision-making structures at earliest opportunity.

Regular liaison meetings with key strategic contacts

Compact Engage with partners and strategic bodies to review the existing compact and its performance with a view to identifying areas for improvement and adoption Compact has lost its relevance, purpose and meaning to most parties Set up an initial working group to carry out the review to include ECN, EHCVS LBE, CCG and other relevant bodies Improved relationship with statutory partners leading to effective engagement in critical planning and decision making Set of principles that enshrine engagement with the third sector as a valued partner by the statutory sector
Funding Work with stakeholders to develop an understanding with funders that secures a more sustainable organisation Currently submit  an annual funding request to the local authority Open a conversation based o na costed proposal that supports the organisation for 4 years An organisation that can build and deliver a clear properly resourced financial plan that meets the needs of ECN and its members A costed  proposal that secures the continuity of the trusted voice of the sector
Communications Create single point of access – no wrong door No single service directory or access to one Create a resources page/link to a local authority/CCG Groups and residents access the information and the groups Create single point of digital access to the third sector
Hold meetings and events Covid has impacted significantly on the ability of ECN working Explore the best way to facilitate meetings utilising online face to face and alternate methods All groups can Access well-advertised events allowing them to discuss matters of importance 5 events a year as a minimum

In addition to the Strategic Plan, three priorities have also been identified and will be and are championing:

Community wealth building Begin the discussion about the benefits of community wealth building as a means of addressing inequality.


·     Progressive procurement

·     Fair employment

·     Socially productive use of land and assets

·     Making financial power work for local people

·     Plural ownership of the economy

Limited ambition and single focus by the local authority on their approach to inclusive growth

No role for the third sector in the roll out of the ‘Green print economy and economic renewal’

Open conversation with relevant parties

Support wider discussions and round tables with partners to discuss options.

Ask for consideration at LSP

Wider understanding of the issues and awareness of approaches to inclusive growth and associated topics Presentation at LSP

Establish a working group to explore relevance and approach in Ealing

Digital inclusion Develop a multi-agency working group to support the development of a digital inclusion plan.

Incorporating 3 areas

·     Physical digital infrastructure

·     Software support and purchase

·     Training and facilitation

No single approach for third sector or prioritisation of the issue

Lack of clarity about ambition for the sector

Lack of clarity about ownership of the problem

Work with partners to create a plan to address the issue.

With clear objectives a strategy for the third sector

Clarity of approach to the issue with roles and responsibilities clearly identified for its delivery Plan in place being delivered
Inequality Support the workings of the Equality commission.

Acting as a critical friend

Limited engagement in process and commission.

Lack of clarity about scope of commission purpose

Engage with commissioners and council officers Greater understanding of ambition and awareness of commission and critically its findings and delivery. Role of third sector clarified and its part in any delivery plan developed
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