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Tony Bovaird, Cumberland Lodge, June 2011
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Tony Bovaird, Cumberland Lodge, June 2011

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  • 1. “ I am expecting local councils to provide more for less”: The third sector and public services – opportunity or exploitation? Prof. Tony Bovaird TSRC/INLOGOV June 2011
  • 2. Context
    • Getting ‘more for less’: expectation and reality
    • ‘ More for less’ strategies and tactics
    • Commissioning, procurement, contracting and delivery
  • 3. Getting more for less: the expectation
    • We have been here before
    • The expectations are often high – Gershon Review, 2004
  • 4. … and why not?
    • Is it really possible to believe that we CAN’T save X% p.a. through:
      • Service redesign, leaner processes, new ICTs, smarter procurement, training, customer orientation, restructuring, relocation, engaging younger/smarter/cheaper staff, dealing with ineffective staff, bringing in volunteer-based organisations, better project/supply chain management, etc.?
    • X% was 1% and then 1.5% in utilities and SOIs in 1980s, then became 2% in 1990s, 2.5% after 2000, 4%+ after Gershon
  • 5. Well, here’s why not …
    • We do all of the previous ‘improvements’ badly much of the time – innovation is not a smooth upwards process
    • Some innovations can undermine each other
    • Many innovations cost more and improve less than expected
    • Disruption effects can outweigh positive improvements for a considerable time after introduction
    • [But still the dream goes on …]
  • 6. We can choose numbers that sustain the dream 21.9% increase in service performance Performance improvement - indexed on performance in 2000/01 (CLG, 2006) Based on a representative basket of BVPIs indexed back to 2000/01 CPA scores: number of upper tier authorities in each category * 2005 - scores include the quarterly updates ** 2006 – 1 council’s star category is subject to review
  • 7. Measuring what we’d like to see (CLG, 2006)
  • 8. Of course, there is usually an antidote to selective figuring - overall citizen satisfaction declined 2000-06 (MORI, 2007, for CLG)
  • 9. … but we have ways of rescuing some good news from the ashes
  • 10. … until reality again intrudes!
  • 11. And bluntly, we did not see this coming: results from council officers survey (‘Cardiff 100’)
  • 12. And why did we not see it coming?
    • We didn’t spot the trend which WAS in the data until too late – forecasting the peaks in cycles is notoriously fraught
    • But we also were looking at and measuring the wrong things …
  • 13. The NPM version of public sector reform – a service perspective
    • Service improvement
      • but just for public services
    • Accountability of public services
      • to service users, taxpayers and to central bodies (e.g. National Audit)
    • Strategic management of public organisations
      • not community leadership
    • User involvement and choice in services
      • Not engagement and co-production by general public, citizens or other stakeholders
    • Public confidence in service provision
      • Not in the public sector or its institutions
  • 14. The public governance approach to public sector reform focuses on:
    • Quality of life improvement
      • not just service improvement, and including ALL services which contribute to citizens’ quality of life
    • Accountability
      • of ALL services and ALL sectors
    • Community leadership
      • by all organisations, not just public sector
    • Public/stakeholder and citizen engagement and co-production
      • within frameworks of democratic renewal and social inclusion (in both decision-taking and quality of life outcomes)
    • Public confidence in the workings of government, society and the economy
    LESSON FOR 2011: EFFICIENCY GAINS CAN SUPPORT ALL OF THESE BUT THEY ARE INDEPENDENTLY IMPORTANT
  • 15. Strategies for getting ‘more for less’
    • Services shift – transferring or sharing the responsibility for service provision
    • Service prioritisation – getting more outcomes from existing resources by focusing on what key stakeholders actually want
    • Productivity shift – getting more outputs from existing resources
    • Resource generation – mobilising more resources from outside the tax base
  • 16. Services shift
    • Shift (some) responsibilities to other governmental units
    • Shift (some) responsibilities outside of government – e.g. to third sector
    • Partnership working – sharing responsibilities
    • User co-production
    • Community co-production ‘SHARING’? OR JUST ‘COST DUMPING’?
  • 17. Partnership working
    • Sharing the burdens as well as the pay-offs
    • Joint decision-making (shared budgets)
    • Commitment to innovation, not tied to hard-and-fast specifications
    • Relationship contracting – doing the specification cheaper, faster and better
    • Influencing the network, not controlling the hierarchy or the ‘agents’
    • Sharing and trading capabilities and resources, not insisting on the ‘right’ to get one’s way
  • 18. Co-production – ‘beyond consultation’
    • User co-production
      • Expert patients
      • Tenant’s repairs and improvements
      • ‘ Group living’ for people with high social needs
    • Community co-production
      • Classroom assistants
      • Social care
      • Neighbourhood watch
      • Environmental improvement
  • 19. Public sector outputs Private and third sector market outputs Informal economy outputs Formal volunteering and informal social value-adding outputs Value-adding outputs in market, public and third sectors and in civil society
  • 20. Economic, Social, Political & Environmental Value Added Modelling Birmingham
  • 21. Issues around self-organising
    • Government is going have to learn a lot more about how it is currently working
    • … and about how it could be helped to work better
    • … and how about how to lean on it when it’s NOT working well but is needed
    • … and about when NOT to use it and how to explain this to the people involved
    • Local councils are much better placed to help here
  • 22. Why ‘co-production’ of public services?
    • SERVICE USERS know things that many professionals don’t know ...
    • ... and can make a service more effective by the extent to which they go along with its requirements
    • ... and have time and energy that they are willing to put into helping others
    • In all these ways, service users are an important part of the ‘co-production’ process of the service
    • And other citizens contribute, too, in the process of COMMUNITY CO-PRODUCTION
  • 23. Different types of co-production
    • Co-planning of policy – e.g. deliberative participation, Planning for Real, Open Space
    • Co-design of services – e.g. user consultation, Innovation Labs
    • Co-commissioning services – e.g. devolved grant systems, Community Chest
    • Co-financing services – fundraising, charges, agreement to tax increases
    • Co-managing services – leisure centre trusts, community management of public assets, school governors
    • Co-delivery of services – expert patients ( peer support groups ), meals-on-wheels, Neighbourhood Watch
    • Co-monitoring and co-evaluation of services – tenant inspectors, user on-line ratings
  • 24. Distinctive principles of co-production
    • Co-production conceives of service users as active asset-holders rather than passive consumers.
    • Co-production promotes collaborative rather than paternalistic relationships between staff and service users.
    • Co-production puts the focus on delivery of outcomes rather than just services.
    • Co-production may be …
        • substitutive (replacing government inputs by inputs from users/communities)
        • OR
        • additive (adding more user/community inputs to professional inputs or introducing professional support to previous individual self-help or community self-organising).
  • 25. ... And if you don‘t like that odd word 'co-production' ...
  • 26. Service prioritisation
    • Cut low priority services?
    • Cut least efficient services?
    • Limit demand or raise eligibility criteria?
    • NOT ACROSS-THE-BOARD CUTS
    • STRATEGY AS THE ART OF SAYING ‘NO’
  • 27. Outcome-based public management: rhetoric or reality?
    • Outcome-based accountability
      • Generally believed to be happening by strategic commissioners, at least at partnership level, also through inspectorates
    • Outcome-based commissioning and procurement
      • Patchy – some services already have a 7-8 year history of this, otherwise it’s often marginal or new services
    • Outcome-based contracting and delivery
      • Much more controversial – few providers want to take risk of only being funded on outcomes achieved
      • But ‘payment by outcomes’ already in employment services, mental health and learning difficulties support, offenders
      • Rather than payment for outcomes, providers tend to be driven by accountability for outcomes at contract renewal stage
      • Argument in UK to admit that in many services there is still great uncertainty about pathways to outcomes – SO, pay 3 year grants on ‘outcome promises’ to convincing providers, minimal specification, renewal if outcomes demonstrated
  • 28. Productivity shift
    • ICT and e-government
    • Other capital substitution for labour
    • Business process redesign
    • Smart (joint) procurement
    • Training
    • Employee motivation
    • Customer service
    • CRM
    • Quality assurance
    • Performance management
  • 29. Resource generation
    • Pursuing grants (EU/government) (‘accepting sweets from strangers’)
    • Fundraising from community
    • Increase volunteering from community (and from private and voluntary sector staff)
    • Raising capital from private or voluntary sector partners
    • Raising revenue contributions from private or voluntary sector partners
    • Increasing prices to (low priority) users
    • Increase long-term borrowing (against growing asset base)
    • Selling low priority assets
  • 30. More for less: Managing the risks
    • All change involves taking risk …
      • especially radical and superfast change
    • But actually we are taking huge risks already
      • just not owning up to them
    • Time for owning up to risk
      • and to our (often relatively minor) reductions to it?
    • So when we report ‘new risks’ from mutuals, the public co-producing or self-organising, let’s surface how big the risks are when public agencies do the work
    • And time to accept different risk-cost pay-off in the future?
  • 31. Conclusions
    • Efficiency and quality are different sides of the same coin – ‘improvement’
    • Quality improvement depends on our definition – not agreed
    • Most public agencies need to use more than one strategy to get ‘more for less’ …
    • … but few are exploiting all available tactics or keeping them refreshed
    • ‘ Joined-up government’ has so far meant joint spending rather than joint budgets, joint saving and joint resource mobilisation
    • Co-production with users and communities is still limited – it can be hugely expanded …
    • … but it will entail a new compact between service users, communities, politicians and professionals
    • ‘ Invest to save’ – requires time and money but should be more used
    • All of this will cost resources – ‘society’ and ‘community’ are not ‘free’
  • 32. Contact
    • [email_address]
  • 33.