Think Tank Round-up

The Think Tank Round-Up is a short summary of recent reports of interest to local government and the wider public sector, put together by members of the policy team at Oxfordshire County Council.

This edition covers the first four months of 2016, and includes:

* The Institute for Government on "Making Devolution Deals Work"
* The LGA on behavioural insights in health, and digital transformation
* Policy Exchange on "Smart Devolution"
* The NLGN Commission on Place-Based Health
* The RSA on localism and devolution, including the Wiltshire experience
* Nesta on "Connected Councils"

...and many more, as they say.

Do drop me a line if you see (or indeed produce) other reports you think it would be worth summarising and circulating.

John Courouble

April 2016


*          *          *

Policy Exchange

The opening argument of this report is that in the 'war for talent' the civil service cannot compete, largely because it "too often treats civil servants as a cost to be managed rather than a strategic asset".

Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion

Using administrative and survey data this report (from the LSE) aims to explain why the performance of disadvantaged pupils in London has improved so much over the last 20 years, particularly compared to disadvantaged pupils from outside London.

Reform (2015)

From April 2016, Greater Manchester's entire £6 billion health and social care budget, currently dispersed through more than 30 organisations, local and national, will be consolidated within a single partnership body.

The Independent Commission on Economic Growth and the Future of Public Services in Non-Metropolitan England (2015)

The last of three reports into the economies of Non-Metropolitan Areas (NMAs) sees the Commissioners conclude that "the way we take decisions in England is holding us back".

iMPower (2015)

Local government is at a critical point and needs to resist risk-aversion and evolve as the communities councils serve have evolved, suggests this report.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2015)

The results of an investigation into the impact of austerity measures on older people, lone parents and those experiencing in-work poverty.

Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2015)

Raising more questions than it answers, this report outlines the political, cultural and financial shifts that would be necessary in the UK for a "citizen's income" to be acceptable and to work effectively.

IPPR (March 2015)

From September 2015, young people will be required to stay in education or training until the age of 18. But this report describes the preceding system as "so fractured and incoherent as to undercut the potential of institutions and young people alike".

Institute for Government (2015)

Required reading before the general election on 7 May 2015, in 30 pages the authors outline the challenges that await those attempting to form a (possible) coalition government.

Institute for Government (2015)

In 2010, the Coalition introduced a new system of performance management, with each department agreeing a list of actions and a set of impact indicators.

Electoral Reform Society (2015)

"The public are tired of 'yah boo' politics and want something different – something more co-operative. Coalitions and power sharing can help restore faith in politics if they are done well."

NLGN (2015)

Arguing that local authorities, housing associations and the health sector are 'natural partners' this report suggests that greater collaboration would achieve better health and wellbeing outcomes for residents, particularly those with 'multiple and complex needs'.

Page 2 of 10