Posts Tagged 'government'

Human-centred governance: transforming government from the outside-in

Design approaches are now being applied all over the world as a powerful approach to innovating public policies and services. Christian Bason, author of Leading public design: Discovering human-centred governance, argues that by bringing design methods into play, public managers can lead change with citizens at the centre, and discover a new model for steering public organisations: human-centred governance.

Christian Bason

From the United Nations, the European Union and the World Bank to the governments of Britain, the United States, Denmark and Chile, and to cities like Helsinki, Adelaide and Copenhagen, design methods are now used to re-think and re-do public services.

But how do these approaches influence public innovation? How do they change the roles of public managers? Might they even signal the rise of new governance models or paradigms?

New research conducted with Copenhagen Business School, Stanford University, Case Western University and Oxford Business School examines the experiences of public managers who have pioneered the use of design approaches in government.

Continue reading ‘Human-centred governance: transforming government from the outside-in’

School Governing, what’s the story since Trojan horse?

Since the Trojan Horse Affair made headlines in March 2014 the pace of change in education governance has, it would appear, become increasingly frenetic.

In light of recent turbulent times in politics , and post Brexit, Jacqueline Baxter, author of School governance, asks what has changed in terms of the democratic governance of education in England ?

BaxterThe Trojan Horse Affair in 2014 left an indelible mark on the education system in England, with profound implications for leadership, management and governing of education.

The affair which provoked a number of subsequent inquiries into radicalisation in schools, also resulted in a raft of measures introduced by the government in order to counter extremist views in schools and to ensure that British Values are firmly embedded in the system. The affair also left government with some very pressing questions about the state of school governance and accountability in England.

Since then we have had a change of government, a vote to exit the EU and a leadership crisis in both government and opposition parties- one that at the time of writing, is still not fully resolved. Continue reading ‘School Governing, what’s the story since Trojan horse?’

New clauses in grant agreements set to muzzle the voluntary sector

Academic Debra Morris specialises in charity law. Debra’s research has focused on many different aspects of charity law and regulation, and today she shares her insights into the evolving, and eroding, rights of charities to campaign and lobby politically.

For a much more detailed look at Debra’s arguments why not check out her article in the Voluntary Sector Review which is free to access until the end of April: Legal limits on political campaigning by charities: drawing the line

Debra Morris, University of Liverpool

Debra Morris, University of Liverpool

Charities play a much needed role in policy development and regulatory reform.

Yet, the ability of charities in England and Wales to participate in the political process, particularly around election times, has been significantly restrained in recent times.

In my recent policy review in the Voluntary Sector Review, as well as examining established charity law principles which prevent charities from having political purposes, I focus on recent election law and political developments which have further limited charities’ ability to participate in the political process.

Effective regulation

There is a need for effective regulation of those campaigning during the run up to general elections. Transparency about who third party campaigners are and what they are spending is desirable. Continue reading ‘New clauses in grant agreements set to muzzle the voluntary sector’

Power junkies: How the heady cocktail of political centralisation is damaging UK democracy

Simon Parker, director of  the think tank for localism, NLGN, and nationally recognised expert on local government, shares his thoughts on how decentralisation could deliver us a wiser, less exhausted government and more engaged citizens that together could transform the UK political culture for the better…

Simon ParkerWe have grown used to the idea that politicians are impervious narcissists, endlessly grasping for power and immune to the pressures and doubts that assail ordinary mortals.

The past week has proven how wrong we are. From Dan Jarvis and Chuka Umunna pulling out of the Labour leadership race to an apparently confident and capable cabinet minister displaying a ruddy flush of embarrassment across the throat while being questioned by Andrew Marr, we have been reminded that politicians are human too, and if they seem otherwise it is often because we simply expect too much from them. Continue reading ‘Power junkies: How the heady cocktail of political centralisation is damaging UK democracy’

Policy & Politics: Rethinking the role of the state

The newly elected Coalition government has announced an eye-watering austerity budget, with more detail of cuts to come. Similar moves are being made by governments across the developed world. Alongside this fiscal retrenchment the Coalition wants to initiate a debate about the role of the state. Are public sector activities better located in the private or third sectors? We will have to wait to see quite what this means in practice. Will the state disengage completely from whole areas of activity? Or is it a question of pushing provision out of the public sector, with government continuing to fund services and exert strong regulatory control?

Such a rethink could present opportunities for third sector organisations. But it can also present significant challenges. Ann Nevile’s forthcoming paper in Policy & Politics provides a timely reminder of the potential tensions between output legitimacy – value for money services – and normative legitimacy – values and community connectedness – that government seeks from third sector providers. Her research reaffirms that the most important strategy for maintaining normative legitimacy is retaining a mixed funding base, even though the transaction costs associated with doing so are considerable. This strategy also helps maintain organisational flexibility and innovation.

We are only just beginning what could turn out to be a significant transformation of the welfare mix. Recognising the complex competing pressures and accountabilities facing third sector organisations will be a vital part of the debate.

Nevile, A. (2010) Drifting or holding firm? Public funding and the values of third sector organisations, Policy & Politics, advanced access.

Alex Marsh, Management Board, Policy & Politics

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