First audit of Big Society launched

The first audit of Big Society, and the effectiveness of policies to shift power from government to civil society, has been launched and is expected to be published early in 2012. Think tank Civil Exchange, research organisation Democratic Audit and social policy communications group DHA, will conduct the audit after consulting with government, academics and others about how to gauge the effectiveness or achievements of the social policy. Funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the research will attempt to establish a baseline against which subsequent shifts in behaviour and power can be monitored. The audit will also consider the effectiveness of initiatives by the last Labour government to bring about similar changes. Civil Exchange and DHA are also running the secretariat for the Independence Panel, which is examining the state of the sector"s independence from government and other stakeholders.