2021 is a critical year for the social sector, as it starts to recover from the pandemic. The decisions that politicians make, at all levels of government, will have an impact on how successful organisations in the sector are at achieving their missions.

This year’s election provides a first glimpse at how policymakers view the role of social sector organisations post-pandemic. Do they see the sector as partners in improving communities, or as vehicles to deliver services? Are they invested in enhancing what the sector can do? Is the sector a priority at all?

Looking at what councillors, parliamentarians, Assembly Members and Police and Crime Commissioners have promised in their manifestos or pledges for their local area can give us an idea. By scoring those pledges on a scale from 1 - if there’s no mention of the social sector – to 5 – if the social sector is at the heart of the winning candidate’s plan – we can build a picture of where the sector is most front of mind, and highlight best practice.

All the data displayed below is drawn from the websites and social media of candidates and council groups, and based on specific mentions of the social sector and its constituent organisations - such as charities or co-operatives - and activities such as volunteering. Candidates may have ambitions plans for areas such as homelessness or domestic abuse which may be delivered by social sector organisations, but if that is unclear it has not been included. This tool should therefore be used to explore best practice where the social sector has been front of mind.   

Find out what’s been pledged about the social sector in your area in our interactive map below. And follow @ProBonoEcon for live updates as results are announced.