Service provision by the public sector is one of the main rationales for civil service and public servant activity beyond the core administrative policy functions of large government departments. Internationally, the general public has come to expect a greater role of the state in the provision of the public good and services, though this is often beyond traditional accounting methods of measuring value for money. As a consequence, numerous new models of public service delivery have been tried over the last 15-20 years across a wide range of countries and sector-specific contexts.
Through discussions with leading practitioners in the field, participants will be trained to compare and evaluate different models and providers for service delivery and funding.
Drawing lessons from international case studies, participants will critically evaluate both successes and failures in models of public service delivery and consider how to influence and change policy. Participants will also evaluate new, innovative models and examine practical examples as to how they would be implemented.
Scope of activity
Range of areas covered
From policy to provision of health and education
From developing legislation to local services
Case Studies from the UK and many Commonwealth countries (permanent, large, a-political)
USA (localised, political appointments to top posts)
Canada/Sweden (how to reduce the size of the civil service dramatically)
Scandinavian/New Zealand models
Analysing evidence from different sources, cultures and countries
Hindsight and foresight in service provision
Who decides to change the model?
Political imperatives and views
Management benefits and drawbacks
Financial upsides and downsides
Drawing coherent and objective conclusions
Does the public sector understand the concept of productivity?
Productivity without the base-line
What is productivity and how can it be measured objectively?
Cultures of hard work and cultures of entitlement
Managing change in large organisations
Leading change and achieving buy-in
Changing working cultures and practices
Changing workloads, input and outcomes
Structuring a piece of written work for assessment
Understanding the CMI assessment criteria
Mapping content and assessment criteria
The public as consumers and customers of services
Evidence for improvement?
Suitability in various cultures of this model
Scope and scale - benefits and flexibility
Track records and adaptability
Difficulties, procurement and costs and benefits
Targets and making money - cutting corners and guaranteeing the right ethos
Not for profit providers in different contexts
Financial constraints and scale of activities
Focus and politicisation of the voluntary sector
Campaigns and service provision
How effective is this sector at providing public services?
Benefits and drawbacks
Defining public good
Who is responsible for public good?
Measuring and evaluating public good in practice
Public good beyond financial criteria and measurement
Profit, shareholders and power
Scale of activities
Lobbyists and lawyers
Ethos and the base line
Public services as a way of making money
Big contracts, low risk
Responsibility and accountability
The buck stops with the government
IT, infrastructure, rail, education
Competition Regulators - statutory frameworks and impact
Regulating monopolies, duopolies and false oligopolies
Regulators and political will - financial services and investment banking
Too big to fail, too big to regulate
Lessons of failure and success
PPPs and PFIs
Pros and cons
Costs and benefits - impact assessments for the future and with hindsight
Cost benefit analysis
How to get a good deal for the public purse from PFIs
Clawing back money - problems of contacts
Procurement and contract management
The last bastion - objective and a-political policy formulation and provision
Alternatives and improvements?
Think tanks, academics, lobbyists, industry, activists, politicians, expert professional bodies, consultancies, the media
What happens when it goes wrong?
Holding the purse strings in the centre and devolving power
Meaning well and hard reality
Support and obduracy
What can realistically be achieved and at what scale?
Considering staff psychology as important for delivery
Motivating performance improvement
Achieving buy-in from managers and staff
Reward and delivery
Quality and attitude
Culture and structure
Facilitating innovation and individual performance to improve organisational success