Viewpoint Papers

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The deliberations of the Commission on 2020 Public Services were supported by a broad research programme with diverse inputs, including major quantitative and qualitative studies and peer reviewed theoretical articles.  ‘Viewpoint’ papers are occasional thought pieces produced to bring fresh perspectives to bear on public problems.  The views expressed are those of the authors.

How Should We Measure Public Sector Performance

James Dicker
Publication: November 2010

How do we measure public sector performance? How can we be sure that apparent improvements are actually a case of improved performance and are not simply ‘statistical improvements’ or measurement errors? As public services face the challenge of delivering the outcomes that citizens most value with shrinking public resources, the question of measurement has become more urgent than ever.  The author argues for an approach that minimises the risk of gaming and is broad enough to include the ‘difficult to count’ areas in which value is often produced.

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Why Localism Now? What Are The Principles for a New Localised Model of Public Services?

Anna Randle
Publication: November 2010

Localism is arguably the most promised and least delivered political idea of recent years. Attractive to governments, opposition parties, think tanks and policy experts, versions of localism have been discussed, examined, proposed, rejected and, in some cases, tried in a seemingly endless round of reports, commissions, inquiries, and green and white papers.  This paper examines recent arguments and initiatives, the barriers to their full implementation, and the outstanding opportunities for reform.

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The Challenge of Reforming Welfare State Institutions

Charlotte Alldritt
Publication: November 2010

Our key welfare institutions have been extremely resilient.  The author argues that the very nature and design of welfare institutions means that their resistence to reform is not striking, but largely to be expected. Actors typically adapt within existing norms and structures unless there is a compelling cause for paradigmatic challenge.

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Thursday, November 11, 2010
Avoiding a repeat of the 1980s

For all the reform strategies and grand narratives emerging from Whitehall, much of the real action will happen at the local level.

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Tuesday, November 09, 2010
A new settlement for public services, by Clare Tickell

When the Commission on 2020 Public Services first met, before the credit crunch, one of our challenges was to wake people up to the looming crisis in public services.  Well, nobody is asleep any more.

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Friday, September 03, 2010
Soap Box

The state needs to be smaller. This is the conclusion not of the coalition government, but of a cross-party group of politicians and experts on the RSA’s 2020 Public Services Trust, whose final report is out soon. 

 

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Meeting the place-based challenge

Bill Cooper of KPMG and Ben Lucas of the 2020 Public Services Trust warn that many councils are not yet fully prepared to take on the new responsibilities of place-based budgeting.

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Monday, July 19, 2010
The coalition's NHS reforms - far enough or a 'quick fix'?

The NHS was recently ranked as one of the most efficient and effective health systems in the world, so is radical reform an unnecessary risk? Dr Greg Parston looks into the matter.

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