DHA is a specialist agency combining high-level policy expertise and extremely effective communication skills. We create compelling communications. We develop policy and thinking. We conduct analysis and evaluation.
From production to dissemination, we create change for the public and not-for-profit sectors.
DHA is expanding. If you have expertise in a key policy area and know how to communicate it, we'd like to hear from you. Send us your CV or ring us for a chat. Details on the contacts page.
Our ethos is simple: people shape services and people shape policy. Now more than ever, this has to be the priority for every organisation.
Established over ten years ago, DHA has a stunning track record of success across the public and third sectors. Our team includes national and international experts in a wide range of policy areas. With offices in London and Liverpool, we work across the UK and the developing world.
"Undervalued and under threat"
The voluntary sector is losing its ability to protect the most vulnerable in society as a result of government attacks on its campaigning activities, lack of consultation over policy changes, and funding arrangements that put the future of an independent sector at risk, according to a new report from a group of sector experts.
The third annual assessment of the Panel on the Independence of the Voluntary Sector calls on David Cameron to take action to stop weakening the independence of the sector and to rebuild trust.
The report documents numerous instances of a serious and growing threat from the government to Britain’s long tradition of independent voluntary action:
- Growing criticism by some politicians, including the Secretary of State for Justice, of charities’ role as voices of communities. There is an increasingly commonly expressed view that charities should simply deliver services and not speak out against injustices – leading to voluntary organisations self-censoring because they are afraid of losing government work, appearing too political or because of gagging clauses in state contracts.
- New and proposed restrictions to the ability of voluntary organisations to challenge government decisions in the courts on behalf of vulnerable individuals.
- Restrictions to campaigning put forward in the Lobbying Bill without consultation and, despite subsequent changes, with continuing concerns about their impact.
- Cuts in government consultation periods, leaving voluntary organisations too little time to respond to important questions, despite assurances this would change.
- Damage to support in communities due to loss of public funding for local specialist voluntary organisations as public service contracts concentrate on economies of scale rather than social return.
- Many state-sponsored charities, such as museums and galleries, subject to government interference, for example in appointment of board members.
- A weak Charity Commission ill-equipped to maintain public confidence that charities are pursuing an independent mission that is furthering the public good and not state sponsored or driven by private gain; and lack of government compliance with a document signed by David Cameron to protect the independence of the sector, the Compact.