Selling tomorrow

In her last post, Jane talked about how an exclusive focus on cost in the reform of public services is to the detriment of the value of those services. Far from delivering ‘value for money’, a blinkered focus on short-term ‘savings’, and consequent loss of value, may ultimately drive up long-term cost. In the last … Continue reading

Endemic ‘creaming and parking’ on the Work Programme

(A version of the following piece first appeared on Guardian Comment on the 20th February 2013. In response to a recent research report, the piece returns to themes we have covered before regarding fundamental design flaws in the Work Programme contracts and procurement.) The Third Sector Research Council (TSRC), part-funded by the Cabinet Office, have … Continue reading

Payment model not panacea

I was recently interviewed as part of a series on Payment by Results in public services – you can see the interview here: http://www.russellwebster.com/pbr-is-not-a-panacea-but-can-be-an-effective-payment-model-says-international-work-programme-expert-jane-mansour/

The Council Catch 22

As the rioters circle parliament in Athens and national strikes bring Italy, Spain and Portugal to a standstill, the same glaring gap exists in Europe as Jane identified in her blog’s recent challenge to the US presidential candidates.  Belt-tightening may well be necessary, but where is the plan for jobs? Commissioning may hold the key. … Continue reading

Black box or empty box?

In an attempt to move away from central prescription of service design, the Work Programme adopted a ‘black box’ approach. However, a misunderstanding of this concept erodes service quality and looks likely to exacerbate an outcome gap between disadvantaged groups. Immediate transparent and nuanced performance reporting may ameliorate this, along with negotiation of minimum quality … Continue reading