This report by the GO Lab looks at how local authorities are joining forces with their local communities to overcome complex social problems. It explores 10 cases across the UK to understand why authorities are choosing to collaborate, as well as how they are doing so.
We also explore questions around what does success look like? Who is accountable when responsibilities are shared? How can we ensure we are getting value for tax payer money?
See below for a summary of our key findings and download our report to understand more.
In our report we cover four main areas and here is a summary of what we found. You can read our full executive summary here
We found that collaboration has broad appeal as a solution to intractable social problems that we struggle to address as a society. These were that collaborating would:
We built a typology for collaboration that we use to categorise the different sites. These are:
We share four ingredients have emerged from our work as key to determining the success of a collaborative effort. These are:
We looked at how to measure success of collaborations. We found that the notion of measurement and target-setting was contentious, but providing learning and feedback were essential. Collaborations looked at alternative methods of performance measurement, such as bottom-up and place-based measures.
Measuring accountability was hugely important, but the jury is still out on whether collaborative approaches enhance or diminish democratic accountability. There were different preferences for measuring accountability, these were:
As with any research we found that by the end we had more questions than answers. We are keen to look at how we embed collaborative practice that is reliant and effective, what is the right way to engage citizens, and much more. Read our report to explore more.