Tony Bovaird, Cumberland Lodge, June 2011


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Tony Bovaird, Cumberland Lodge, June 2011

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