New report looks at social service sector effectiveness

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


October 26, 2010, HAMILTON, BERMUDA -     A report providing insight into the effectiveness of Bermuda's social services sector has just been released by the Bermuda Civil Society Project (BCSP) task force.
The BCSP was launched in 2009 to address concerns of donor and nonprofit organizations about the increasing need for helping services in the community at a time when funding was diminishing due to changing economic circumstances. The BCSP is coordinated by a task force of funders, nonprofits and technical advisors.
The BCSP's report, The Analysis of Social Service Agencies, details the results of three "convenings" – gatherings of nonprofit and governmental social service agencies representatives – and a survey of nonprofit organizations. It also synthesizes existing research compiled in various studies conducted between 2006 and 2009.
The Analysis of Social Service Agencies concludes that there are three core social issues in Bermuda in need of attention. They are: education, life skills training, and unaddressed multi-generational trauma. The report also notes that with fewer funding opportunities available today, nonprofits are being scrutinized more closely by donors, effectively adding to their workload.  
Chair of the BCSP task force, Dr. Myra Virgil, who is also Bermuda Programme Executive for The Atlantic Philanthropies, notes that the report is an important part of the overall initiative. She says: "Essentially, we are conducting an audit of the social services available in Bermuda today. This information will provide clarity for the agencies by identifying overlaps and gaps, and this will empower them to focus on what they do best. In addition, it will assist donors to ensure that their funds are being targeted efficiently and reaching those most in need. And ultimately, the neediest in our community will be even better served.  

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“One of our goals is also to determine indicators that will measure the effectiveness of the services provided. This will benefit the community as a whole."
Executive Director of The Family Centre, Martha Dismont, has led the social services phase of the BCSP, and she adds that there is much work still to be done. "This report, the result of successful collaboration between Bermuda's donors and the social services sector, is a powerful first step but we have a long way to go. The original goal was to determine the greatest needs in our community so that donors could target their giving most effectively during tough times. But the scope of the project has expanded and the end result will be far more significant for Bermuda.”
Dr. Virgil notes that the BCSP initiative has been funded by The Atlantic Philanthropies, the Bank of Bermuda Foundation and the XL Foundation, all of whom are represented on the task force.

The full report is available here -

Contacts:              Myra Virgil – 295-4896 and Martha Dismont – 232-1116
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