chevron icon Twitter logo Facebook logo LinkedIn logo YouTube logo download icon link icon audio icon quote icon posted icon clock icon author icon arrow icon arrow icon plus icon Search icon location icon location icon document icon menu icon plus-alt

Here is your monthly policy briefing collecting all the news from across the sector in March. If you are interested in receiving a weekly policy briefing sent to your email each Monday sign up to our Tiny Letter -

GO Lab 

Opinion The dilemma of listening to service users – In his monthly blog, Nigel Ball considers the difficulties of responding to the demands for greater citizen involvement in public service delivery. GO Lab 

Opinion Why can’t we all just get along? Barriers to collaboration and early thoughts on how to overcome them in public services - This follows on from the GO Lab blog exploring Game Theory and collaboration in public services. It explores the barriers to collaboration and how they may be overcome. LSE 

Opinion Reaching consensus on the measurement of social value; challenges not to be overlooked – This blog looks at why we shouldn’t just measure financial value and need to include social value too. It then explores how we can do this. It is written by Georgina Camp, CEO and Founder of Huber Social, an organisation with a vision for a global society where wellbeing thrives. GO Lab

Opinion What are the GO Lab reading and listening to? In these challenging times we thought we’d publish a lighter blog post about the kinds of things we are reading and listening to this week. This includes new books, audiobooks and podcasts from across the sector (and we’ve also added a few non-work related ones too). We’d love to hear what you think of our list or if you’re reading anything we should know about. GO Lab

Research and Reflection 

Opinion Efficiency and legitimacy an inter-local agreements: why collaboration has become a default choice among councils – This piece is by Ruth Dixon, Research Fellow a the GO Lab and Thomas Elston, Associate Professor at the Blavatnik School of Government. They find that the propensity to collaborate is unpredictable, but partner choice can be partly explained by geographical proximity pf councils and similarities in organisational and resources characteristics. The LSE British Politics and Policy Blog 

Research Tackling the big questions in social impact bond research through comparative approaches – This piece of research is done by Clare FitzGerald, Research Fellow at the GO Lab, Alec Fraser and Jonathan Kimmitt. It explores the state of the academic literature on SIBs, identifying gaps and suggesting five big questions that we need to explore, including where and why do SIBs emerge in particular contexts and do SIBs catalyse wider organisation, system of institutional changes? Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice
Opinion The next wave of the ‘Wall Streetification’ of education and public services in America’ – This piece looks at social impact bonds in the US and casts a critical eye over them, arguing they are another wave of privatisation of essential public services. It is a follow up piece that references the policy brief in the National Education Policy Center (that I shared recently). Washington Post

Collaboration and co-design

Event CDC Insight: Investing in and scaling innovation for development – On 18th March CDC Insight are hosting Michael Kremer, Nobel Laureate and Gates Professor Developing Societies at Harvard University to discuss the critical role of innovation in solving some of the world’s biggest problems. CDC Insight
Opinion Why collaborations fail - This article looks at the challenges of making collaborations work. It dismantles some success stories and identifies three traits of successful collaborations – 1) they created full time teams, 2) they used interagency agreements, 3) they encourages resources sharing. Apolitical

Opinion Preventing Coronavirus in an Age of Distrust: The importance of Cross Sector Collaboration – Trust in large institutions is at an all time low, but it is essential in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. Three ways that governments can work together with companies and NGOs are through driving behaviour change, fostering community level trust and engagement, and reducing disinformation. Next Billion

Opinion Co-designing better futures with citizens – This piece argues that by opening space for public space for public discussion where people can feel heard and respected, democratic societies can not only achieve better results, but also restore a level of trust in institutions and a sense of belonging to communities that are dangerously crumbling. Stanford Social Innovation Review 

Impact bonds and pay for success  

Opinion ‘Pay for success’ helps Veterans with PTSD find and keep meaningful jobs – More than 60% of Veterans in the US entering specialised PTSD programmes are unemployed, which can negatively impact financial security, community reintegration and quality of life. A new ‘pay for success’ programme has begun in New York City, Boston and Central Western Massachusetts. This brief article explains how it works and what it hopes to achieve. US Department of Veterans Affairs 

Opinion Development Impact Bonds for maternal and child health – ‘Achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will require new funding mechanisms beyond overseas assistance. Though not without challenges, DIBs including those launched to reduce maternal and child mortality, offer an encouraging option.’ Stanford Social Innovation Review 
News Aldar Properties to invest Dh2 million in Abu Dhabi’s first social impact bond – The Authority of Social Contribution (Ma’an) signs an agreement with Aldar, Abu Dhabi’s biggest listed developer, to invest in the emirates first SIB to help fund social public services. The National
Publication A comparative analysis of Social Impact Bond and conventional financing approaches to health service commissioning in England: the case of social prescribing – This article compares two social prescribing interventions in Northern England. One was financed through a SIB and the other was financed in a more conventional way. This research was done by Alec Fraser, Toby Lowe and Chris Dayson. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis