Cross-Cutting Themes: Key take-aways

Having cast a spotlight on the two mainstreamed cross-cutting themes, across six stakeholder sessions, we heard a wealth of dialogue around both Environmental Sustainable Development and Equality & Equal Opportunities. Aside from the multiple and specific discussion points, much of which is aired through these CCT webpages, here is a handful of very important bigger picture take-aways

1. ESF requirements (must-have not nice-to-have)

  • The CCTs are mainstreamed across all BBO partnerships –important elements of the quarterly reporting expected for successful delivery in the BBO programme.
  • The importance of CCTs is clear as they’re subject to audit and evaluation (plus they feature high up the agenda for all levels of programme auditors). All partnerships must demonstrate ‘continuous improvement’ in respect of the two CCTs: progress expressed within your quarterly reporting (including narrative annexes).

2. Crucial to successful BBO delivery (added value and co-benefits of CCTs)

  • Both CCTs fundamentally ensure inclusive, fairer and greener ways of working – for the lead organisations (grant holders) and the partner organisations; and, likewise, in the engagement and support to as wide a range of people as possible.
  • CCT action (and progress) ought to be ‘second nature’ given that we have had 5 years of the BBO programme as of mid-2021.
  • CCTs ought to be a primary interest and focus among the work of all lead organisations and partners. As stated in our Summary for partnerships: “Embed the cross-cutting cutting themes within the day-to-day delivery of the project.”

3. Shared responsibility (we’re all in this together)

  • Lead organisations have a responsibility to ensure partners are joined up in this effort and supported.
  • The BBO programme team ‘walks the talk’ of CCTs –like all BBO partnerships we, too, have our own specific policies and action plan logs for relevant CCT work.

4. Progress (lots achieved, lots of time left to do more)

  • Many BBO partnerships have progressed well with their actions on CCTs over the past 5 years… CCTs should remain a focus for BBO’s final extension toward 2023.
  • The range of actions under this CCT is very wide indeed (change and improvement within organisations, activities with participants, green audits and green evaluations, green jobs, among many more different and relevant actions).
  • ‘The multiplier effect’: Well over 100 BBO partnerships, and approx. 2,000 organisations (majority VCSE) has meant a BIG impact since 2016 – so let’s make a bigger impact toward the programme’s end.

5. Beyond BBO

  • CCT actions ought to be a primary concern in BBO delivery given the climate emergency, and related responses such as the UK’s stated aims for Net Zero. Ditto for the Equality theme given the stark inequalities writ large during the pandemic.
  • So both CCTs hold real significance for current work and legacy: all positive and progressive actions taken in respect of both the CCTs help to address and to mitigate the huge, ongoing challenges of, both, climate change and inequality.