Change in role for the Interface?

An evaluation of Third Sector Interfaces recently published by the Scottish Government is set to reinforce the role that they play in being a strategic vehicle for third sector involvement in community planning and the integration of Health and Social Care.

David Coulter, Chief Executive of Dumfries and Galloway’s Third Sector Interface, welcomed the report observing that there are no surprises to be found in the findings of the evaluation. “The challenge we faced locally in 2013 was to create a single strategically driven organisation capable of advocating the role that the third sector plays; able to support local communities and volunteers and to promote enterprising behaviours and skills across the third sector. I think we have achieved this.”

The research shows that there are benefits when the Third Sector Interface operates as a single entity and that a unified structure has clear benefits including improved planning and delivery of integrated services; cost efficiencies; and creation of a single point of contact for the sector. All of this leads to a more efficient and strategic organisation overall.

“There is clearly a long term future for Third Sector Interface model” said Mr Coulter “if accepted by the Scottish Government the recommendations of the evaluation will however have a significant impact on our priorities, how we work and our relationship with our sector and our public sector partners.”

In response to the evaluation and its recommendations The Scottish Government has announced that over the next 6 months they will examine how the third sector infrastructure is organised and how it can be improved.

Spokesperson for the Scottish Government, Laura Sexton said “We will be working with our partners to arrange a programme of stakeholder events, which will take place during the first half of 2017 to enable as many people as possible to put forward their views on how the local third sector infrastructure should be organised to support individuals and communities across Scotland. Following this wider engagement we will, in dialogue with wider interests, draw together recommendations for improvement for Ministerial agreement by Autumn 2017 for implementation from 2018/19”.



For further information please contact:

Scottish Government:

Laura Sexton (Third Sector Unit)


Dumfries and Galloway Third Sector Interface:

Sandi Conway (Policy, Research and Community Planning Officer)

T: 0300 303 8558



Links to Key Documents:

  1. Evaluation of Scotland’s Third Sector Interface Network Model – Executive Summary
  2. Evaluation of Scotland’s Third Sector Interface Network Model – Full Report
  3. Scottish Government Communication & Engagement Plan